The VEGF14 protein is involved in the formation of blood vessels A new protein variant discovered by Israeli biotechnical giant Compugen, is expected to be useful in clinical research investigating cancer, cardiovascular disease, and fertility treatment.

The variant kind of protein is involved in the formation of blood vessels and is expressed from the vascular growth factor (VEGF) gene.

One of the world leaders in developing drug discovery technologies, Compugen
announced that it was granted a US patent covering the sequence of this specific protein, which is called VEGF114, as well as pharmaceutical drugs and detection methods developed using VEGF114 sequences.

Compugen Experimental Biology vice president Dr. Kinneret Savitsky said that the company’s “discovery of VEGF114 and the receipt of a patent for this novel protein are further validations of our ability to discover new meaningful biological information through our unique multidisciplinary approach.”

Compugen is a leader in incorporating ideas and methods from mathematics, computer science and physics into the disciplines of biology, organic chemistry and medicine with the objective of significantly increasing the probability of success of drug and diagnostic development. The company has established collaborations with leading biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies such as Abbott Laboratories, Gene Logic, Millennium Pharmaceuticals, Novartis, Pfizer and Sigma-Genosys.

The Nasdaq-traded company, which has been called the ‘Check Point’ of biotechnology, was initially involved in developing computational hardware that could accelerate the genomic data mining process. It sells its two main products, the Bioccelerator and Leads, to high-profile customers such as Parke-Davis (now a research division of Pfizer), Eli Lilly, Bayer, Merck, Monsanto and Smithkline Beecham.

Since Compugen’s inception in 1993, its multi-disciplinary team of mathematicians, computer scientists, physicists, chemists and molecular biologists has developed core technologies in the areas of:

** Analyzing and modeling biological behavior at the molecular level;

** Accelerating the analysis of genomic, proteomic and other biological data; and

** Creating user-friendly applications that allow molecular biologists to quickly obtain results for their Biological queries using our modeling and analysis tools.

Compugen has granted another Israeli company, MultiGene Vascular Systems (MGVS) of Haifa, a non-exclusive license to develop and commercialize gene cell therapy products incorporating VEGF114 for the treatment of cardiovascular diseases. MGVS’s goal is to develop cell therapies using the VEGF114 and other proteins. In exchange for the license, Compugen will receive an equity stake in MGVS and royalties on any future product sales.

MGVS is developing cell therapies, based on using the patient’s own cells, for vascular-related disorders. MGVS has three products in its pipeline, all based on the same technology platform.

“We are very happy to partner with Compugen, a global leader in combining exact sciences with the life sciences,” said Moshe Flugelman, M.D., co-founder of MGVS. “The licensing agreement is in keeping with our commitment to develop novel and highly effective products for cardiovascular therapeutics.”