Compugen Ltd. has announced that it has achieved the third preclinical milestone pursuant to its cancer immunotherapy collaboration with Bayer HealthCare (Bayer). The collaboration provides for the research, development, and commercialization of antibody-based cancer therapeutics against two novel Compugen-discovered immune checkpoint regulators, CGEN-15001T and CGEN-15022.
The milestone payment being announced today, and the two previous milestone payments received by Compugen under the collaboration, all relate to CGEN-15001T, which is the more advanced of the two programs. This program, for which US and EU patents have been granted to Compugen, is demonstrating encouraging functional activity in preclinical models of cancer immunotherapy.
Upon achievement of this third milestone, this program has now been transferred to Bayer’s full control for further preclinical and clinical development activities, and worldwide commercialization, under milestone and royalty bearing licenses from Compugen.
CGEN-15022, which is at an earlier stage than CGEN-15001T, continues under the joint preclinical research program, with results from these activities providing promising support for the target’s ability to modulate immune response via a potentially novel mechanism of action, and the target is currently being further characterized regarding its role in anti-cancer immune response.
“We are very pleased to have reached this milestone, which marks the successful completion of the joint pre-clinical work for one of the two immuno-oncology candidates under the Bayer/Compugen collaboration. Now that this program is transferred to Bayer for further preclinical and clinical development, we view this as further testimony to the power of drug discovery via computational predictions,” said Anat Cohen-Dayag, Ph.D., President and Chief Executive Officer of Compugen.
Cohen-Dayag continued, “Since the very beginning of this partnership, there has been continuing progress on both programs, including a growing understanding of target biology, in addition to the advancement of therapeutic candidates in a joint preclinical research program. Each program presents a distinctive differentiation profile compared to known checkpoints, providing potentially different mechanisms of action and expanded opportunities for cancer treatment. Both partners are excited by the potential of the two programs as they progress towards potential novel therapeutics for cancer immunotherapy.”