Compugen Ltd. (Nasdaq: CGEN; TASE: CGEN) and DiscoveRx Corporation have formed a collaborative partnership to commercialize novel Compugen designed peptides. The two companies will matched the peptides with specific G protein-coupled receptor targets using DiscoveRx GPCR related technologies. The new agreement follows a successful pilot program between the two companies.
Under the terms of the collaboration, DiscoveRx will utilize its PathHunter Platform and its suite of proprietary cell based GPCR assays and related technologies to match individual peptides in the Compugen GPCR targeted peptide library with specific GPCR drug targets of interest to DiscoveRx’s pharmaceutical company clients and others. Peptides of interest will then be available for licensing from Compugen under milestone and royalty agreements. The two companies have agreed a revenue sharing financial model providing different sharing percentages for each category of revenue resulting from the collaboration.
The peptides in Compugen’s GPCR targeted library were predicted through the use of Compugen’s GPCR Peptide Ligand Discovery Platform. Three predicted peptides, CGEN-856, CGEN-855 and CGEN-25009, have been found with therapeutic potential in disease animal models of cardiovascular, fibrotic and inflammatory conditions. Compugen has also recently announced that the Pulmonary Fibrosis Foundation will fund further studies to evaluate the potential of CGEN-25009 for treating lung fibrosis.
This successful initial validation of Compugen's GPCR peptide platform, and enhancements and extensions of the platform prompted Compugen to utilize it to predict and synthesize a GPCR targeted peptide library. This contains over 900 peptides predicted to have a high likelihood of modulating GPCR targets. The analysis of this unique peptide library with DiscoveRx’s PathHunter Platform and broad range of GPCR assays and related technologies is the basis for this collaboration. The GPCR family of membrane protein receptors is the largest family of known drug targets, and an estimated 40% of prescription drugs currently available are thought to modulate GPCRs. Newly discovered GPCR peptide ligands in the past have also shown a high probability of being successfully developed into new drugs.
The two companies recently completed a pilot project whereby the DiscoveRx technologies were applied to analyze the Compugen designed peptides with a small subset of GPCR targets. This pilot resulted in promising initial results for a number of library peptides that were shown to modulate specific GPCR targets, thus demonstrating both the library’s potential as a reservoir of therapeutically relevant peptides, as well as the ability of DiscoveRx’s functional GPCR assays to identify novel peptide/GPCR target interactions.
Compugen CEO Dr. Anat Cohen-Dayag said, "As previously disclosed, Compugen is focusing its discovery and development efforts towards addressing unmet medical needs in our focus areas of oncology and immunology through the use of novel protein and antibody therapeutics. However, as part of the development and validation activities associated with establishing our broadly applicable predictive discovery capabilities, a number of very promising discoveries were made that have significant potential in other areas. Therefore, in recent months, we have been in various discussions for arrangements with other organizations to advance certain of these earlier discoveries, including a number related to potential peptide therapeutics, largely without the need for further Compugen financial resources, such as this very promising collaboration with DiscoveRx being announced today.”
Compugen's share price rose 4.6% on Nasdaq today to $4.33, giving a market cap of $148.6 million. Earlier today, the share price rose 1.52% on the TASE to close at NIS 16.
Published by Globes, Israel business news - www.globes-online.com - on November 29, 2011
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