Today, Compugen Ltd, a clinical-stage cancer immunotherapy company and one of the pioneers of predictive target discovery declared that its investigational new drug (IND), COM902, has been approved by the US Food and Drug Administration for further trials and research.
COM902 is an immuno-oncology therapeutic antibody targeting TIGIT that can be highly effective in the treatment for advanced stages of cancers in people. At the moment, the therapies and treatment options available for late-stage malignancies are mostly ineffective.
Currently, cancer is one of the fastest rising health conditions in the United States. The statistics from the National Cancer Institute from 2018 show that 1,735,350 new cases of cancer will be diagnosed in the United States and 609,640 people will die from the condition.
Although there is a significant amount of research and newly developed targeted therapies for various types of malignant tumors, there is a lack of focus on treating refracting tumors in patients.
In some of the cases, the commonly prescribed immunotherapies work effectively and get rid of the cancerous growths. However, others may have to try multiple therapies to find the best-suited solution and some may not respond to any of the present options of treatment at all.
Therefore, Compugen Ltd is beginning Phase 1 of clinical trials in patients with recurring and unresponsive cancer tumors to examine the effects of COM902. According to the latest reports, the trials are planned to begin in 2020.
In each one of the trials, there will be an evaluation of the pharmacokinetics, safety, pharmacodynamics, and tolerability of COM902. In addition, the anti-tumor activity of the antibody will also be tested. Currently, there are multiple sites in the United States that are being considered for clinical trials and the final decision will be made soon.
The CEO and President of COM902, Anat Cohen-Dayag, states that the clearance of COM902 is a fundamental step in developing therapies for people who are unresponsive to the present immunotherapies.
Preclinical data shows that combinations of various antibodies such as anti-TIGIT COM902 with others such as anti-PVRIG can improve the anti-cancer activity in general. Hence, testing various antibodies together is one of the primary ways to see whether or not a new therapy may work for malignancies.
At the moment, Compugen is the leader in developing cancer immunotherapy using its advanced computational discovery platform. The company was also the first to discover PVRIG using immune checkpoint computational technology which was later published in by Compugen itself in the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) in 2009.
Furthermore, there are also a number of other programs launched by Compugen including immuno-oncology programs against novel drug targets as well as early-stage immune-oncology programs based on myeloid targets.
Now, the company also intends to further discover a new and innovative treatment following the Phase 1 clinical trial next year. Consequently, there may be another option for the people who are no longer receiving any kind of immunotherapy since it is ineffective for them.