Compugen signs cancer drug licensing deal with Gilead Sciences

Under the terms of the deal, Gilead will make an immediate payment of $60 million to Compugen with potential milestone payments of up to $890 million plus royalties.

US biopharmaceutical giant Gilead Sciences Inc. (Nasdaq: GILD) today announced an agreement with Israeli clinical-stage cancer immunotherapy company Compugen Ltd. (Nasdaq: CGEN) (TASE: CGEN), which uses computational target discovery, to exclusively license its potential first-in-class, pre-clinical antibody program against IL-18 binding protein, including the COM503 drug candidate.

Under the terms of the deal, Gilead will make an immediate payment of $60 million to Compugen - a relatively high amount for a drug candidate yet to reach the human trials stage. Hunan clinical trials are due to begin in 2024, when Compugen could earn an extra payment of $30 million. Other payments on meeting milestones could reach $848 million not including royalties that Compugen could eventually earn from the products revenue if it reaches the market.

Compugen's share price is currently 156.33% higher on Nasdaq at $1.865, giving a market cap of $167.248 million.

COM503 works in a creative way. It is a potential first-in-class, high affinity antibody which blocks the interaction between IL-18 binding protein and IL-18, thereby releasing natural IL-18 in the tumor microenvironment and inhibiting cancer growth.

Compugen CEO Dr. Anat Cohen-Dayag explains that the reason that use of the anti-cancer product has not been used until today is mainly because it poisons healthy tissues and an inability to precisely target the tumor.

But Compugen has found that in the environment of the cancerous growth, there is a relatively large amount of IL-18 connected to another protein and that this bond can be broken down using an antibody (which is the drug developed by Compugen). Because IL 18 is bonded to the same protein surrounding the growth, this separation of the bonding leads to a concentration of IL-18 instead of the growth.

Compugen also reported today it will receive a $10 million milestone payment of $10 million from AstraZeneca, when the first patient is dosed in AstraZeneca’s ARTEMIDE-Bil01 trial with rilvegostomig. Rilvegostomig is a PD-1/TIGIT bispecific antibody where the TIGIT component is derived from Compugen’s clinical-stage anti-TIGIT antibody, COM902. The ARTEMIDE-Bil01 trial is expected to recruit about 750 subjects in more than 20 countries with biliary tract cancer who will be randomized to receive rilvegostomig or placebo.

Published by Globes, Israel business news - - on December 19, 2023.

© Copyright of Globes Publisher Itonut (1983) Ltd., 2023.

Twitter Facebook Linkedin RSS Newsletters גלובס Israel Business Conference 2018