The collaboration will focus on immune checkpoint candidates discovered by Compugen for the potential treatment of cancer.
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Compugen Ltd. (Nasdaq: CGEN; TASE: CGEN) today announced the initiation of a multi-year research collaboration with Johns Hopkins University, School of Medicine under the direction of Prof. Drew Pardoll and Dr. Charles Drake, members of Compugen’s Scientific Advisory Board, and pioneers in the field of immuno-oncology.
The collaboration will focus on further evaluation of selected novel B7/CD28-like immune checkpoint candidates discovered by Compugen for the potential treatment of cancer. This evaluation will include the candidates’ differentiation profile with respect to known checkpoints and their potential to serve either for monotherapy or in combination with other cancer treatments.
This collaborative research will expand Compugen’s ongoing assessment of the biology and mechanism of actions of its novel B7/CD28-like immune checkpoint proteins, and provide access to the world-class immuno-oncology research tools and expertise at Johns Hopkins University. The specific studies under the collaboration will assist Compugen in further substantiating the potential of its novel proteins as targets for cancer immunotherapy. It is anticipated that the results of this collaboration will significantly broaden the underlying scientific knowledge of Compugen’s targets and will support their translation toward the clinic.
Dr. Anat Cohen-Dayag, President and CEO of Compugen, stated, “Prof. Pardoll and Dr. Drake are recognized as world leaders in the field of immuno-oncology. We are very enthusiastic to be collaborating with them and with Johns Hopkins University in this comprehensive research program to further characterize and differentiate our novel cancer immunotherapy B7/CD28-like candidates. We anticipate that this research will provide important insights for the continuing development by us and our potential future partners of our therapeutic candidates in the exceptionally promising field of cancer immunotherapy.”
About Immune Checkpoints
Immune checkpoints are inhibitory receptors and their ligands, which are crucial for the maintenance of self-tolerance (that is, the prevention of autoimmunity) and for the protection of tissues from damage when the immune system is responding to pathogenic infection or other injuries. Immune checkpoints, which are “hijacked” by tumors to block the ability of the immune system to destroy the tumor (immune resistance), have lately emerged as “game changers” and promising targets for cancer immunotherapy. Therapeutic blockade of immune checkpoints can boost anti-tumor immunity, enabling the patient’s immune system to recognize and attack the tumor cells, and mount durable anti-tumor responses and tumor destruction.
The blockade of immune checkpoints unleashes the potential of the anti-tumor immune response in a fashion that is transforming cancer therapeutics. Checkpoint-blocking antibodies have lately demonstrated impressive clinical benefits and long-term survival, even for end-stage patients, raising hopes that this novel approach will lead to effective therapeutic strategies and valuable additions in the fight against cancer.