Compugen Ltd. has announced the discovery and experimental verification of CGEN-438, a potential blood based biomarker for lung cancer. CGEN-438 is splice variant peptide of delta-like protein 3 precursor (DLL3).
Importantly, the Compugen discovered biomarker is a peptide that is secreted from the cell into the bloodstream, whereas the previously known DLL3 is a protein located on the cell membrane. Initial clinical evidence indicates that the Compugen discovered molecule could potentially serve as both a serum biomarker for the diagnosis of small cell lung cancer and as a component in a biomarker combination for the diagnosis of non-small cell lung cancer patients.
Using a test developed by Compugen to detect CGEN-438 in serum, the blood levels of the peptide were measured in about 40 lung cancer patients and healthy individuals.
CGEN-438 concentrations detected in serum samples of small cell lung cancer patients were higher than those detected in controls, demonstrating its potential to become a diagnostic biomarker for small cell lung cancer. It was also evident that CGEN-438 is expressed to a large extent in certain non-small cell lung cancer serum samples and therefore may be used in a biomarker combination test for the diagnosis of non-small cell lung cancer as well. A patent application covering this biomarker has been filed by Compugen.
Similar to the recently announced CGEN-144, CGEN-438 is one of a group of putative cancer and cardiovascular biomarkers which was initially predicted in silico utilizing Compugen’s immunoassay computational discovery platform, and then further validated experimentally.