In a poster presentation at The Inaugural International Cancer Immunotherapy Conference: Translating Science into Survival, being held in New York City, Arthur Machlenkin, Ph.D., Head of Immuno-Oncology Research at Compugen Ltd., presented the predictive discovery and experimental validation of certain Compugen-discovered novel drug targets for cancer immunotherapy, and disclosed new target validation results for one of these candidates, CGEN-15052.
Certain immune checkpoints present in the tumor microenvironment have been shown to inhibit T cells, which are a critical component of the anti-tumor immune response, and therefore suppress the immune system’s ability to destroy malignant cells, thus allowing tumor growth.
The new target validation data presented at the conference demonstrate, as expected from an immune checkpoint target candidate, that the expression of CGEN-15052 on cancer cells in a syngeneic mouse animal model enhances tumor growth compared with control cancer cells.
In addition, CGEN-15052 was previously shown to bind to activated T cells and inhibit human and mouse T cell activation. Combined with the high expression of CGEN-15052 found in the tumor microenvironment of multiple cancers, such as lung and breast cancers, these results suggest that this Compugen-discovered protein has the potential to serve as a highly promising immunotherapeutic target for multiple cancer types.
“We are very pleased to report further progress in validating CGEN-15052 as a novel immune checkpoint target candidate for the treatment of cancer,” said Anat Cohen-Dayag, Ph.D., Compugen’s President and Chief Executive Officer. “The validation results to date, both in vitro and in an animal setting, support the therapeutic potential of inhibiting CGEN-15052 and thus restoring immune response against cancer.”
Dr. Cohen-Dayag added, “The excitement being generated by the clinical results of the few cancer immunotherapy drugs now available highlights the need for additional immuno-oncology drugs to treat the majority of cancer patients for whom these current therapies are of little, if any, benefit. Therefore, the continuing demonstration of the potential of the large number of novel immune checkpoint target candidates discovered by the Company in a variety of cancers and immune cell sub-types is very exciting from both a medical and commercial standpoint.”