Compugen Publishes Paper in Cancer Immunology Research Demonstrating Therapeutic Potential of COM503

HOLON, Israel, April 10, 2024 /PRNewswire/ -- Compugen Ltd. (NASDAQ: CGEN) (TASE: CGEN) a clinical-stage cancer immunotherapy company and a pioneer in computational target discovery, today announced the simultaneous online publication of a peer reviewed paper titled 'Unleashing natural IL-18 activity using an anti-IL-18BP blocker antibody induces potent immune stimulation and anti-tumor effects' link, in Cancer Immunology Research, a journal of the American Association for Cancer Research with a presentation at the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) annual meeting on April 5-11, 2024, in San Diego, California.

"There is a growing recognition of the importance of the IL-18 pathway in cancer immunology reflected in the surge in investment and collaboration in this space," said Anat Cohen-Dayag, Ph.D., President, and Chief Executive Officer of Compugen. "Through our computational discovery work at Compugen we identified that IL-18 binding protein (BP), a natural inhibitor of IL-18, is highly expressed in patients as a potential immune resistant mechanism. Taking advantage of the high levels of endogenous IL-18BP bound-IL-18 in the tumor microenvironment, we, along with our partner Gilead Sciences are developing COM503, a differentiated antibody approach to harness cytokine biology for cancer therapeutics."

Eran Ophir, Ph.D., Chief Scientific Officer at Compugen added, "Our paper published online yesterday in Cancer Immunology Research describes how COM503, a potential first-in-class high affinity monoclonal antibody, blocks the interaction between IL-18 and IL-18BP, unleashing the activity of endogenous IL-18 in the tumor. By relying on endogenous production of IL-18, we found that COM503's activity is localized to the tumor microenvironment with the additional advantage of a wider therapeutic window than systemic IL-18 delivery."

Dr. Cohen-Dayag continued, "Combining the cutting-edge capabilities and expertise of both Compugen and Gilead, our goal is to expedite the development of COM503. This year, we are progressing towards COM503 IND filing and are planning initiation of a Phase 1 study evaluating safety and tolerability of COM503."

About Compugen

Compugen is a clinical-stage therapeutic discovery and development company utilizing its broadly applicable predictive computational discovery capabilities to identify new drug targets and biological pathways for developing cancer immunotherapies. Compugen has developed two proprietary product candidates: COM701, a potential first-in-class anti-PVRIG antibody and COM902, a potential best-in-class antibody targeting TIGIT for the treatment of solid tumors. Compugen also has a clinical stage partnered program, rilvegostomig (previously AZD2936), a PD-1/TIGIT bispecific antibody where the TIGIT component is derived from Compugen's clinical stage anti-TIGIT antibody, COM902, in Phase 3 development by AstraZeneca through a license agreement for the development of bispecific and multispecific antibodies. In addition, the Company's therapeutic pipeline of early-stage immuno-oncology programs consists of programs aiming to address various mechanisms of immune resistance, of which the most advanced program, COM503, is in IND enabling studies is licensed to Gilead. COM503 is a potential first-in-class, high affinity antibody which blocks the interaction between IL-18 binding protein and IL-18, thereby freeing natural IL-18 in the tumor microenvironment to inhibit cancer growth. Compugen is headquartered in Israel, with offices in San Francisco, CA. Compugen's shares are listed on Nasdaq and the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol CGEN.

Forward-Looking Statement

This press release contains "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of the Securities Act of 1933 and the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended, and the safe-harbor provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Such forward-looking statements are based on the current beliefs, expectations, and assumptions of Compugen. Forward-looking statements can be identified using terminology such as "will," "may," "expects," "anticipates," "believes," "potential," "plan," "goal," "estimate," "likely," "should," "confident," and "intends," and similar expressions that are intended to identify forward-looking statements, although not all forward-looking statements contain these identifying words. Forward-looking statements include, but are not limited to, statements relating to our development of COM503, including the IND filing and initiation of a Phase 1 clinical trial. These forward-looking statements involve known and unknown risks and uncertainties that may cause the actual results, performance, or achievements of Compugen to be materially different from any future results, performance or achievements expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements. Among these risks: clinical development involves a lengthy and expensive process, with an uncertain outcome and Compugen may encounter substantial delays or even an inability to begin clinical trials for any specific product or may not be able to conduct or complete its trials on the timelines it expects; Compugen's business model is substantially dependent on entering into collaboration agreements with third parties and Compugen may not be successful in generating adequate revenues or commercializing aspects of its business model; Compugen's approach to the discovery of therapeutic products is based on its proprietary computational target discovery infrastructure, which is unproven clinically; Compugen does not know whether it will be able to discover and develop additional potential product candidates or products of commercial value; and conditions in Israel and in the Middle East, including the effect of the evolving nature of the ongoing "Swords of Iron" war, may adversely affect our operations. These risks and other risks are more fully discussed in the "Risk Factors" section of Compugen's most recent Annual Report on Form 20-F as filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) as well as other documents that may be subsequently filed by Compugen from time to time with the SEC. In addition, any forward-looking statements represent Compugen's views only as of the date of this release and should not be relied upon as representing its views as of any subsequent date. Compugen does not assume any obligation to update any forward-looking statements unless required by law.

Company contact:

Yvonne Naughton, Ph.D.
Head of Investor Relations and Corporate Communications
Tel: +1 (628) 241-0071

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SOURCE Compugen Ltd.