Compugen CEO Anat Cohen-Dayag.
Compugen CEO Anat Cohen-Dayag.

Tel Aviv’s Compugen has announced the initiation of a multi-year research collaboration with Johns Hopkins University, School of Medicine, on immune checkpoint candidates for the potential treatment of cancer.

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 project will be under the direction of Prof. Drew Pardoll and Dr. Charles Drake, members of Compugen’s Scientific Advisory Board, and well known pioneers 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,” said Dr. Anat Cohen-Dayag, President and CEO of Compugen, a leading drug discovery company focused on therapeutic proteins and monoclonal antibodies to address important unmet needs in the fields of oncology and immunology.

Immune checkpoints, which are “hijacked” by tumors to block the ability of the immune system to destroy the tumor have lately emerged as “game changers” and promising targets for cancer immunotherapy.

“Immunotherapy is dramatically changing the landscape for cancer treatment, but current therapies appear to address only a small percentage of patients. It is widely believed that the availability of monoclonal antibody drugs addressing additional checkpoint targets will significantly broaden the applicability of this breakthrough approach. Therefore, the large number of novel checkpoint candidates discovered to date by Compugen represents a potential major contribution to this rapidly growing field,” said Dr. Drake.