HOLON, Israel, March 12, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- Compugen Ltd. (NASDAQ: CGEN), a clinical-stage cancer immunotherapy company and leader in predictive target discovery, announced today that the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) has granted two composition of matter patents for COM701, the Company's lead immuno-oncology therapeutic antibody candidate. One patent covers the composition of COM701 and backup antibodies, while the second patent covers the composition of any antibody having the fragments of COM701 and backup antibodies that bind specifically to PVRIG, known as complementarity-determining regions (CDRs).
The composition of matter patents expand Compugen's intellectual property protection for COM701 beyond the therapeutic use patent received as part of the Moonshot program in 2017 and cover exclusivity on COM701 in the United States for any purpose. These patents are an integral part of Compugen's IP strategy intended to establish a broad and robust IP portfolio to support the commercialization plans of its pipeline programs.
U.S. Patent No. 10,213,505, which covers the composition comprising the COM701 and the backup antibodies, is expected to expire no earlier than August 2037 in the United States. U.S. Patent No. 10,227,408, which covers composition comprising an anti-PVRIG antibody having CDRs of COM701 and backup antibodies, is expected to expire no earlier than February 2036.
COM701 is a humanized antibody that binds with high affinity to PVRIG, a novel B7/CD28-like immune checkpoint target candidate discovered by Compugen, blocking the interaction with its ligand, PVRL2. Blockade of PVRIG by COM701 has demonstrated potent, reproducible enhancement of T cell activation, consistent with the desired mechanism of action of activating T cells in the tumor microenvironment to generate anti-tumor immune responses. In addition, COM701 combined with antagonist anti-PD-1 antibodies has demonstrated synergistic effects on human T cell stimulation, indicating an intersection of the PVRIG and PD-1 inhibitory pathways and the potential of these combinations to further enhance immune response against tumors.
PVRIG and TIGIT constitute parallel immune checkpoint pathways that counteract DNAM-1, a costimulatory molecule on T cells and NK cells. Preclinical data for COM701 suggest that PVRIG may be a dominant checkpoint in diverse patient populations with tumors that express elevated PVRL2 as compared to expression of the TIGIT ligand PVR. This include patients with breast, endometrial, and ovarian cancers. In addition, expression studies show that PVRIG, TIGIT, and their respective ligands, are expressed in a broad variety of tumor types, such as those noted above, as well as lung, kidney, and head & neck cancers. In these tumors the blockade of both TIGIT and PVRIG may be required to sufficiently stimulate an anti-tumor immune response, with or without additional PD-1 pathway blockade.
COM701 is in Phase 1 clinical trials in patients with advanced solid tumors, to evaluate monotherapy and combination therapy with a PD-1 inhibitor.
Compugen is a clinical-stage, therapeutic discovery and development company utilizing its broadly applicable predictive discovery infrastructure to identify novel drug targets and develop first-in-class therapeutics in the field of cancer immunotherapy. The Company's therapeutic pipeline consists of immuno-oncology programs against novel drug targets it has discovered, including T cell immune checkpoints and myeloid target programs. Compugen's business model is to selectively enter into collaborations for its novel targets and related drug product candidates at various stages of research and development. The Company is headquartered in Israel with facilities in South San Francisco, CA. Compugen's ordinary shares are listed on Nasdaq and the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol CGEN. For additional information, please visit Compugen's corporate website at www.cgen.com.
This press release contains "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Forward-looking statements can be identified by the use of terminology such as "will," "may," "expects," "anticipates," "believes," "potential," "plan," "goal," "estimate," "likely," "should," "confident," and "intends," and describe opinions about possible future events. These forward-looking statements involve known and unknown risks and uncertainties that may cause the actual results, performance or achievements of Compugen to be materially different from any future results, performance or achievements expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements. Among these risks: Compugen's business model is substantially dependent on entering into collaboration agreements with third parties and Compugen may not be successful in generating adequate revenues or commercializing aspects of its business model. Moreover, the development and commercialization of therapeutic candidates involve many inherent risks, including failure to progress to clinical trials or, if they progress to or enter clinical trials, failure to advance through clinical development or receive regulatory approval. These and other factors, including the ability to finance the Company, are more fully discussed in the "Risk Factors" section of Compugen's most recent Annual Report on Form 20-F as filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) as well as other documents that may be subsequently filed by Compugen from time to time with the SEC. In addition, any forward-looking statements represent Compugen's views only as of the date of this release and should not be relied upon as representing its views as of any subsequent date. Compugen does not assume any obligation to update any forward-looking statements unless required by law.
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