Compugen and Bayer are engaged in a collaboration and license agreement for the research, development and commercialization of immuno-oncology therapeutics against ILDR2, a novel immune checkpoint discovered computationally by Compugen.
Currently BAY 1905254, the lead antibody targeting ILDR2, is being evaluated in a Phase 1 study in patients with advanced solid tumors. The study, sponsored and conducted by Bayer, is an open-label, dose escalation study designed to evaluate the safety and tolerability of BAY 1905254 as monotherapy and in combination with Keytruda® (pembrolizumab). The expansion of the Phase 1 study will evaluate the combination in IO naïve first line head and neck squamous cell carcinoma patients. Additional information on the Phase 1 study can be found here.
Compugen received over $30 million in upfront, preclinical and clinical milestone payments under the agreement between the two companies and is eligible to receive over $250 million in future milestone payments, as well as tiered royalties on global sales.
Bristol Myers Squibb
Compugen has an ongoing clinical trial collaboration with Bristol Myers Squibb to evaluate the safety, tolerability and preliminary antitumor activity of Compugen’s COM701, an anti-PVRIG antibody, in combination with Bristol Myers Squibb’s PD-1 immune checkpoint inhibitor Opdivo® (nivolumab), in patients with advanced solid tumors. The collaboration is based on Compugen’s discovery of a novel immune checkpoint, PVRIG, as well as extensive preclinical studies that PVRIG signaling is synergistic with the PD-1 pathway to suppress immune cell activity. The ongoing Phase 1 trial is sponsored by Compugen and Bristol Myers Squibb is providing Opdivo at no cost. More information on the trial can be found here.
Based on data supporting Compugen’s triple pathway hypothesis, suggesting a molecular intersection between the PVRIG, TIGIT and PD-1 pathways, the collaboration was expanded to include a Phase 1/2 triple combination clinical trial to evaluate the safety, tolerability and preliminary antitumor activity of COM701 in combination with Opdivo and Bristol Myers Squibb’s investigational anti-TIGIT antibody, BMS-986207, in patients with advanced solid tumors. Compugen is sponsoring the study and Bristol Myers Squibb is providing Opdivo and BMS-986207 at no cost. More information on the trial can be found here.
In conjunction with this collaboration, Bristol Myers Squibb made a $12 million strategic equity investment in Compugen.
Compugen entered into an exclusive license agreement with AstraZeneca for the development and commercialization of bispecific and multi-specific antibody products derived from one of Compugen’s pipeline programs. Bispecific and multi-specific antibodies represent an emerging class of cancer therapeutics with the potential to improve response rates. AstraZeneca can create multiple products under this license and has sole responsibility for research, development and commercial activities of these products.
In return for the license granted, Compugen received $10 million in upfront payment and is eligible to receive up to $200 million in milestone payments for the first product, as well as payments for additional products and tiered royalties on global sales.
Johns Hopkins University
Compugen has an ongoing research collaboration with Johns Hopkins University, under the direction of renowned immuno-oncology expert and pioneer, Drew Pardoll M.D., Ph.D. Dr. Pardoll’s work in immune regulation, particularly related to mechanisms by which cancer cells evade elimination by the immune system, spans decades and has led to major advancements in the field of immuno-oncology. This highly valuable collaborative effort provides experimental insight into the biology and mechanisms of action of Compugen’s novel cancer immunotherapy targets and accelerates their expected translation towards the clinic.
Prostate Cancer Foundation
To advance our research on a novel myeloid target computationally-discovered by Compugen as a new potential immunotherapy target, Compugen has a collaboration with the Prostate Cancer Foundation (PCF). Under this collaboration, we provided funding for a PCF Challenge Award, an award designed to fund ambitious new science to advance treatment options for prostate cancer. Challenge Award winners are selected through a peer-review process conducted by the PCF Standing Review Committee.
This PCF Challenge award was granted to Dr. Jelani Chinelo Zarif, M.S., Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Oncology and Drew Pardoll, M.D., Ph.D., Professor of Oncology, both at Johns Hopkins University. The three-year research program will evaluate the function of a novel immune-modulatory checkpoint, which is expressed on myeloid cells and macrophages in various cancers, including prostate cancer. The project is intended to further validate the Compugen computationally-discovered target in a preclinical setting, alongside the internal R&D work at Compugen, and provide the scientific foundation to develop a new therapeutic agent against this target and advance it to the clinic.