Speaking today at the plenary session of the 7th Annual European Antibody Congress in Geneva, Dr. Anat Cohen-Dayag, President and CEO of Compugen Ltd. (NASDAQ: CGEN), presented Compugen's Antibody Target Discovery Platform, one of the Company's predictive discovery platforms for novel therapeutic targets. As part of her presentation covering the unique discovery capabilities of this platform, Dr. Cohen-Dayag presented experimental data demonstrating the potential of two in silico predicted proteins, CGEN-928 and CGEN-15001T, to serve as new targets for monoclonal antibody ("mAb") based therapy.
Dr. Cohen-Dayag stated, "During the past two decades, mAbs have emerged as an important new and rapidly growing drug class, with over 20 mAbs already approved for therapeutic use in the U.S. for various clinical indications. mAb therapeutics have an exceptionally high success rate from first use in humans to regulatory approval, a rate more than double that of small molecule drugs. However, one of the main challenges in this extremely promising field is the identification of novel targets for mAb therapy. To this end, Compugen has developed several proprietary target discovery platforms through the focusing and integration of various aspects of its unique predictive discovery capabilities."
Dr. Cohen-Dayag continued, "In addition to the two drug target candidates presented today in the conference, other promising candidates have entered our Pipeline Program and are at various stages of validation and mAb generation. We are now initiating collaborations with leading scientists from distinguished academic institutions in relevant scientific and medical fields to assist us in the further validation and development of these candidates."
In her presentation, Dr. Cohen-Dayag explained that CGEN-928 is a membrane protein which previously had no known function or potential clinical utility. However, Compugen's Monoclonal Antibody Targets Discovery Platform predicted that this protein should have utility in the treatment of multiple myeloma, an important unmet medical need in oncology. Consistent with this prediction, CGEN-928 has now been shown by Compugen to be highly expressed in multiple myeloma samples compared with various normal tissue samples. Further studies have demonstrated broad expression of the protein in human multiple myeloma tumor cells, including late stage multiple myeloma and drug resistant and aggressive primary tumor cell lines. Thus CGEN-928's expression profile and supporting data indicate its potential use as a target for antibody-based therapy, as well as a diagnostic and prognostic marker for multiple myeloma.
The second predicted mAb target Dr. Cohen-Dayag discussed was CGEN-15001T, which is also a membrane protein. This previously uncharacterized protein was predicted by Compugen to belong to the B7/CD28 protein family, known to be involved in regulation of the immune system in immune related disorders and in cancer. CGEN-15001T has demonstrated potential therapeutic utility for cancer, and in her talk, Dr. Cohen-Dayag presented, for the first time, recent experimental results demonstrating that it is expressed in both prostate cancer tissues as well as in immune cells residing within the tumor. These results support its possible additional role as a cancer immunotherapy target, an area of great interest to the pharmaceutical industry. Dr. Cohen-Dayag also presented data supporting the therapeutic potential and mechanism of action of CGEN-15001, the extracellular domain of CGEN-15001T fused to an Fc, for various immune-related conditions such as multiple sclerosis and rheumatoid arthritis. These results further support the immunomodulatory role of CGEN-15001T as a drug target in oncology.