Compugen finds peptides with cardio treatment possibilities

The drug discovery firm reported "significant" cardio protection.

Compugen Ltd. (Nasdaq: CGEN; TASE: CGEN) has reported positive results for two novel peptide agonists of the MAS G-protein coupled receptor (GPCR).

The peptides could offer a novel approach to treating heart failure and other cardiovascular conditions.

In an in-vivo model of cardiac remodeling, CGEN-856 and CGEN-857 were shown to afford significant cardio protection, as manifested by reduction of both fibrosis and hypertrophy of cardiomyocytes.

The two peptides CGEN-856 and CGEN-857 were identified using Compugen's previously announced GPCR ligand discovery platform. The in-vivo results will be presented at the VII International Symposium on Vasoactive Peptides to be held February 14-16, 2008 in Brazil.

The company reported that picomolar concentrations of the peptides had an anti-arrhythmogenic effect in isolated rat hearts following ischemia-reperfusion, as demonstrated by a reduction in the incidence and duration of reperfusion arrhythmias.

Heart failure is a major cause of morbidity and mortality worldwide, and affects millions of people in the US.

“MAS is an exciting target with ample evidence for its importance for cardiovascular physiology and pathophysiology, and these results strongly support continuing the development of CGEN-856 and CGEN-857 as therapeutic candidates,” said Compugen VP Research and Development Dr. Yossi Cohen.

GPCRs are the largest family of known drug targets, and at least 40% of prescription drugs currently available are thought to act on GPCRs.

In addition to its own discovery efforts, Compugen also has a discovery and license option agreement with Merck & Co., Inc., targeted at predicting peptides likely to activate selected GPCRs and validating their agonistic activity.

Compugen works for the discovery and licensing of product candidates to the drug and diagnostic industry. Its business model focuses on maximizing the number of products in the development pipelines of pharmaceutical and diagnostic companies worldwide under revenue sharing licensing agreements.

Shares in Compugen rose 4.4% to $2.60 on Nasdaq yesterday, reflecting a market cap of $73.57 million.

Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes-online.com - on February 13, 2008

© Copyright of Globes Publisher Itonut (1983) Ltd. 2008

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