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Compugen Discusses Additions to Informatics Infrastructure Underlying its Drug Discovery Business

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This week, Compugen provided details about an informatics platform it is developing internally for identifying protein functional interaction sites as part of its efforts to discover functional monoclonal antibodies in oncology and immunology that can be used as therapeutic candidates against the company's drug targets.

In a statement, Anat Cohen-Dayag, Compugen's president and CEO, said that her firm's Predictive Structural Biology, or PSB, platform is designed "to enhance the discovery of functional therapeutic monoclonal antibodies that modulate Compugen-discovered novel targets" as well as "to generate monoclonal antibodies against additional targets, such as those that have to date proven refractory to antibody targeting attempts."

She told BioInform in an email that the company, which is publicly traded, disclosed the information about its new discovery platform "in order to notify the public about advances in its valuable capabilities and unique discovery approach."

Compugen's business model is to use these platforms internally to discover novel targeted therapeutic candidates and then form partnerships in relation to these candidates with pharmaceutical companies under various revenue sharing arrangements.

"This platform, together with other Compugen platforms, computational infrastructure, and discovery capabilities … positions us as a unique predictive drug discovery company," Cohen-Dayag said. "Our competitive advantage is presented through the discovery of novel product candidates discovered by the company through the use of its computational systems, algorithms, and tools."

In the last three years, Compugen has used its infrastructure to generate "multiple product candidates in the field of oncology and immunology … in areas of high interest to the pharmaceutical industry," she said. For example, it has identified nine novel immune checkpoint candidates that may serve as targets for therapeutic monoclonal antibodies.

The PSB platform builds on capabilities Compugen developed previously for its PPI Blockers discovery platform such as computational prediction of protein-protein interaction sites and protein engineering abilities. In addition to these features, the PSB platform also analyzes antibody-antigen interactions in order to identify "specific sites on the antibody which are of interest for the generation of functional monoclonal antibodies," Cohen-Dayag told BioInform.

She also said that while the current application focuses on functional protein regions, future versions "may enable us to introduce selected specificities to a given antibody in a predictable manner."

She declined to disclose details about the methods the platform uses to identify antibodies.

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