Compugen announces discovery of novel drug targets for cancer antibody therapeutics

Compugen Ltd. announced today the discovery of more than ten novel targets of antibody therapy for various types of solid and hematopoietic cancer.

The newly identified targets were initially predicted and selected in silico utilizing the Company’s Monoclonal Antibody Therapeutic Targets Platform and subsequently were experimentally validated. In addition, the Company announced that further experimental validation of the therapeutic potential has been initiated for five of these targets.

This group of novel targets offers the opportunity for advancing the development of antibody biotherapeutics for a wide range of oncologic diseases, such as ovarian cancer, lung cancer, colon cancer, multiple myeloma, acute and chronic leukemia and Non Hodgkin lymphoma. All of the new targets are membrane bound molecules which have been shown to display differential RNA expression in various tumor vs. healthy samples. In addition, a number of them are splice variant molecules, the existence of which had initially been predicted by the Company’s LEADS platform. This class of molecules would be particularly difficult to find utilizing traditional discovery methodologies.

Anat Cohen-Dayag, Ph.D., Compugen’s Vice President of Diagnostic Biomarkers and Drug Targets stated, “Monoclonal antibody therapeutics is the fastest growing segment of the pharmaceutical industry with the potential for yielding improved therapeutics to treat many life-threatening and debilitating diseases. Furthermore, with a typically faster discovery to development to commercialization process and a higher probability of success in human clinical trials, this segment has become a major focus of the industry. Therefore, we see our unique Monoclonal Antibody Therapeutic Targets Platform as an extremely valuable asset of the company and are very pleased by its continuing and growing success in identifying novel targets of interest. We look forward to continuing use of this platform both in our own discovery activities and in collaboration with partners.”

About Monoclonal Antibody (mAb) Therapeutics

Over the past two decades, monoclonal antibodies have emerged as an important and rapidly growing new drug class. Monoclonal antibodies have the ability to target specific cells of interest - such as cancer cells – and can be utilized to stimulate the patient's immune system to attack such cells, to deliver a toxin locally to the cells, or to block specific cell receptors. To date, mAbs have been approved for therapeutic use in oncology, transplantation, chronic inflammatory, infectious and cardiovascular diseases. Although significant progress has been made in recent years, one of the key challenges in the mAb therapeutics field remains the identification and validation of novel targets.

About Compugen's Monoclonal Antibody Therapeutic Targets Platform

This Platform relies on Compugen’s LEADS and MED infrastructure platforms, protein domain predictions and other public and proprietary data sources to predict novel membrane proteins that can serve as targets for antibody therapeutics, such as for various cancer and autoimmune diseases. The selection of appropriate candidates from this large body of predicted membrane proteins is accomplished using sub-modules of algorithms and other computational tools developed specifically for the disease state or protein family of interest. The selected candidates are then experimentally validated.

http://www.cgen.com and http://www.evogene.com

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