Compugen Ltd. has reported the initial validation of two additional therapeutic product candidates, CGEN-15031 and CGEN-15051, in animal models of autoimmune diseases.
These two novel molecules are soluble proteins based on two B7/CD28-like proteins discovered by Compugen, with each fusion protein combining the extracellular domain of one of the membrane proteins and an Fc antibody fragment.
The results being announced relate to the recently completed evaluation of the potential therapeutic activity of CGEN-15031 in an animal disease model of multiple sclerosis and of CGEN-15051 in a model of rheumatoid arthritis.
The Compugen fusion proteins significantly ameliorated disease symptoms in these models and are predicted to have a potential use as protein therapeutics for multiple autoimmune diseases.
The study of CGEN-15031 in the EAE model of multiple sclerosis was carried out in the laboratory of Prof. Stephen Miller at Northwestern University.
CGEN-15051 was tested using the CIA model of rheumatoid arthritis at a commercial lab specializing in animal models of autoimmune diseases.
Compugen also announced that results from additional studies relating to CGEN-15001, the first of the Compugen-discovered B7/CD28-like based fusion proteins to undergo experimental validation, continue to support its immunomodulatory role and potential use in the treatment of multiple autoimmune diseases.
Using an adoptive transfer EAE model, administration of CGEN-15001 to mice with established disease induced by transfer of CNS-autoaggressive immune cells, displayed robust inhibition of disease symptoms and abolishment of further relapses.
Moreover, amelioration of disease symptoms was accompanied by up-regulation of the anti-inflammatory cytokines, IL-10 and IL-4, and potent reduction in the secretion of pro-inflammatory cytokines.
Furthermore, CGEN-15001T, the membrane protein that CGEN-15001 is based on, was recently shown to be expressed in samples from the gastrointestinal tracts of patients diagnosed with Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis, the two major types of inflammatory bowel disease.
CGEN-15001T was shown to be specifically over expressed on both the epithelium and immune cells in diseased tissues, compared with the respective normal tissues.
These findings further support CGEN-15001's immunomodulatory role and indicate CGEN-15001’s additional potential utility in the treatment of these inflammatory bowel diseases, which also represents a major unmet medical need for new, more effective therapies.
Dr. Anat Cohen-Dayag, President and CEO of Compugen Ltd., stated, "We are extremely encouraged by the progress of our therapeutic protein product candidates, which comprise one of the two arms of our Pipeline Program, with the second being monoclonal antibody therapeutics. Our therapeutic protein candidates, at present primarily fusion proteins based on Compugen-discovered B7/CD28-like membrane molecules, continue to demonstrate significant therapeutic potential for a large number of unmet medical needs in the fields of immunology."
Dr. Cohen-Dayag continued, “In addition to demonstrating areas of potential superiority for our novel product candidates compared with products in the market or under development by others, Compugen is currently undertaking significant efforts to differentiate between our multiple immunomodulatory product candidates in terms of their modes of action, and the specific medical condition which each of them should target. These differentiation activities are required in order to maximize the medical and commercial value of our unique ability to discover multiple product candidates for clinical unmet needs.”