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Compugen Drug Candidate Demonstrates Attenuation of Autoimmunity and Reestablishment of Immune Balance

Published: Monday, November 26, 2012
Last Updated: Monday, November 26, 2012
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Results from pre-clinical studies for CGEN-15001 immune checkpoint modulator presented at the European Congress of Immunology.

Compugen Ltd. has announced that pre-clinical findings presented at the 3rd European Congress of Immunology provide additional support for the potential of CGEN-15001 to effectively treat autoimmune disease.

Mode of action studies for CGEN-15001 demonstrated both the active suppression of pathogenic immune responses and the reestablishment of immune balance by increasing anti-inflammatory mediators and promoting inducible regulatory T cells (iTregs).

Modulation of iTregs is considered an extremely promising approach for treatment of autoimmunity and cancer, and therefore has been the focus of intense industry and academic research in recent years.

These results were included in a presentation focused on CGEN-15001 by Dr. Joseph R. Podojil, a Research Assistant Professor in the laboratory of Professor Stephen Miller at Northwestern University, at the 3rd European Congress of Immunology held last week in Glasgow, U.K. In his talk, Dr. Podojil presented data supporting multiple modes by which CGEN-15001 appears to mitigate aberrant immune function leading to autoimmunity.

In addition to the data supporting its promotion of iTregs, which was disclosed for the first time at the congress, Dr. Podojil discussed CGEN-15001’s previously reported ability to prevent autoreactive inflammatory immune cell infiltration to the central nervous system as well as its immunomodulatory activity, thereby both turning off pro-inflammatory immune cells and promoting immunoregulatory immune responses.

"The very promising results being presented by our collaborators at Northwestern University demonstrate that CGEN-15001 may provide an effective therapy for restoring immune system balance and proper function in the presence of autoimmune disease,” said Dr. Anat Cohen-Dayag, Compugen’s President and CEO.

"Preclinical studies of CGEN-15001 have shown excellent therapeutic effects in established models of both multiple sclerosis and rheumatoid arthritis. Based on the results to date and our recent understandings of its mode of action, we believe that CGEN-15001 has the potential to emerge as an efficacious and safe disease modifying therapy for these and other autoimmune diseases."

Dr. Cohen-Dayag added, “CGEN-15001 is an Fc fusion protein, based on CGEN-15001T, a protein predicted by Compugen as a novel immune checkpoint target. In addition to CGEN-15001’s potential benefits in autoimmune disease therapy, the recent findings further support our cancer treatment strategy with respect to CGEN-15001T. This strategy is based on blocking the CGEN-15001T immune checkpoint protein, which we have demonstrated is expressed on cancer cells, using a therapeutic monoclonal antibody. In this setting the antibody would act to restore the immune system’s ability to attack the tumor."

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