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Compugen Ltd. (CGEN) Shows Promise In Fighting Autoimmune Disease

|Includes: Compugen Ltd. (CGEN)

Autoimmunity is defined as an organ's failure to recognize itself that leads to an immune response against the organ's cells and tissues. In essence, it's when a disease causes the body to attack itself. "Regulatory" cells, human cells that control the immune response, called "iTregs," fail to work properly, and the body's immune response attacks the body itself as well as the disease.

Compugen Ltd., founded in 1993 and headquartered in Tel Aviv Israel, is a company focused on the development of drugs and other products for use against cancer and to assist with problems in the human body's immune response against diseases. Today, Compugen announced that its new drug, CGEN-15001, shows strong potential in preventing autoimmunity in the human body. CGEN-15001 is comprised of a unique protein that, in testing, has suppressed pathogenic immune responses and has helped to restore the body's immunity balance.

The CGEN-15001 results were first introduced at the 3rd European Congress of Immunology held last week in Glasgow, U.K., in a presentation given by Dr. Joseph R. Podojil, a Research Assistant Professor in the laboratory of Professor Stephen Miller at Northwestern University. In addition, Dr. Podojil discussed CGEN-15001's previously reported ability to prevent autoreactive inflammatory immune cell infiltration to the central nervous system as well as its immunomodulatory activity. Thus, CGEN-15001 has shown promise in turning off pro-inflammatory immune cells and promoting immunoregulatory immune responses. CGEN-15001 also shows promise in reducing inflammation caused by certain diseases and promoting inducible regulatory T cells (iTregs). The promotion of iTregs is thought to be very important to the control and treatment of autoimmune problems and cancer. Consequently, iTregs have been the subject of intense research and study over the last few years.

"The very promising results being presented by our collaborators at Northwestern University demonstrate that CGEN-15001 may provide an effective therapy for restoring immune system balance and proper function in the presence of autoimmune disease," said Dr. Anat Cohen-Dayag, Compugen's President and CEO. "Preclinical studies of CGEN-15001 have shown excellent therapeutic effects in established models of both multiple sclerosis and rheumatoid arthritis. Based on the results to date and our recent understandings of its mode of action, we believe that CGEN-15001 has the potential to emerge as an efficacious and safe disease modifying therapy for these and other autoimmune diseases."

Dr. Cohen-Dayag added, "CGEN-15001 is an Fc fusion protein, based on CGEN-15001T, a protein predicted by Compugen as a novel immune checkpoint target. In addition to CGEN-15001's potential benefits in autoimmune disease therapy, the recent findings further support our cancer treatment strategy with respect to CGEN-15001T. This strategy is based on blocking the CGEN-15001T immune checkpoint protein, which we have demonstrated is expressed on cancer cells, using a therapeutic monoclonal antibody. In this setting the antibody would act to restore the immune system's ability to attack the tumor."

Unlike traditional forms of drug discovery and research, Compugen uses computer technology to determine which drugs should be advanced for further study in animals and humans. Compugen collaborates extensively with other companies and researchers to develop and commercialize its product candidates. The company derives revenue from payments and royalties on product sales and other forms of revenue sharing. Compugen established additional operations in 2012 in California to help in its quest to develop drugs to fight oncology and assist with immunology.

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