HOLON, Israel, April 27, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- Compugen Ltd. (Nasdaq: CGEN), a clinical-stage cancer immunotherapy company and a leader in predictive target discovery, today announced the publication of a peer-reviewed article titled "COM902, a Novel Therapeutic Antibody Targeting TIGIT Augments Anti-Tumor T Cell Function in Combination with PVRIG or PD-1 Pathway Blockade" in Cancer Immunology, Immunotherapy. The preclinical data discussed in the paper highlight the potential of COM902, Compugen's anti-TIGIT therapeutic antibody, to enhance anti-tumor immune responses.
Article highlights include:
- Development and characterization of COM902, a fully human anti-TIGIT antibody which binds specifically to TIGIT and disrupts the binding of TIGIT with PVR, the cognate ligand of TIGIT
- Expression of TIGIT, a checkpoint within the DNAM-1 axis discovered in 2009 by Compugen and others, is induced on lymphocytes infiltrating the tumor microenvironment, including Tregs, effector T cells, and NK cells in diverse solid tumors
- PVR is expressed in a large set of solid tumors
- COM902, designed to have reduced Fc receptor engagement to avoid potential depletion of TIGIT-expressing effector T cells, does not demonstrate T cell depletion activity in-vitro or in-vivo, making it unlikely to elicit direct depletion of TIGIT-expressing effector T cells, which are important for anti-tumor activity
- Blockade of TIGIT/PVR binding by COM902 enhances human T and NK cell function in vitro. This effect can be increased by dual blockade of COM902 with either an anti-PVRIG antibody, COM701, or an anti-PD-1 antibody
- In vivo, in murine tumor models, COM902 combined with anti-PVRIG or anti-PD-L1 antibodies enhances anti-tumor lymphocyte responses and inhibits tumor growth
"This publication offers further validation of TIGIT as a potential novel target for cancer immunotherapies," said Anat Cohen-Dayag, Ph.D., President and CEO of Compugen. "These published data answer fundamental questions regarding TIGIT's biology and demonstrate potential synergies with other immune checkpoints. Excitingly, we have observed the amplification of anti-tumor immune responses after dual blockade of TIGIT with either PVRIG or PD-1, which validates our clinical strategy to pursue combination approaches targeting these checkpoints. Furthermore, these data provide additional support that COM902 has the potential to improve outcomes for patients with advanced malignancies, expanding the reach of checkpoint inhibitors."
COM902 is currently being studied as monotherapy in a Phase 1 trial of patients with advanced malignancies (NCT04354246). The trial, which was initiated in 2020, is on track to report initial data in Q4 2021. In addition, the initiation of the dual combination study of COM701 with COM902 is expected as planned in H2 2021.
Compugen is a clinical-stage therapeutic discovery and development company utilizing its broadly applicable, predictive computational discovery platforms to identify novel drug targets and develop therapeutics in the field of cancer immunotherapy. Compugen's lead product candidate, COM701, a first-in-class anti-PVRIG antibody, for the treatment of solid tumors, is undergoing a Phase 1 clinical study. In addition, COM902, Compugen's antibody targeting TIGIT, is in a Phase 1 clinical study. Compugen's therapeutic pipeline also includes early stage immuno-oncology programs focused largely on myeloid targets. Compugen is headquartered in Israel, with offices in South San Francisco, CA. Compugen's 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 Securities Act of 1933, as amended, and the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended, and the safe-harbor provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Such forward-looking statements are based on the current beliefs, expectations and assumptions of Compugen. 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 similar expressions that are intended to identify forward-looking statements, although not all forward-looking statements contain these identifying words. Forward-looking statements include, but are not limited to, statements regarding our expectation to report initial data in Q4 2021 from our COM902 monotherapy Phase 1 study and statements regarding the expected time to initiate our dual combination study of COM701 with COM902 in H2 2021. 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: the global COVID-19 pandemic may continue to negatively impact the global economy and may also adversely affect Compugen's business; clinical development involves a lengthy and expensive process, with an uncertain outcome and Compugen may encounter substantial delays or even an inability to begin clinical trials for any specific product, or may not be able to conduct or complete its trials on the timelines it expects; Compugen relies, and expects to continue to rely, on third parties to conduct its clinical trials and if these third parties do not successfully carry out their contractual duties, comply with regulatory requirements or meet expected deadlines (including as a result of the effect of the COVID-19), Compugen may experience significant delays in the conduct of its clinical trials as well as significant increased expenditures; Compugen's approach to the discovery of therapeutic products is based on its proprietary computational target discovery infrastructure, which is unproven clinically; Compugen does not know whether it will be able to discover and develop additional potential product candidates or products of commercial value; 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. These risks and other risks 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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