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Bristol-Myers Squibb, Compugen Announce Clinical Collaboration

October 12, 2018 By americanpharmaceuticalreview

Bristol-Myers Squibb and Compugen announced the companies have entered into a clinical trial collaboration to evaluate the safety and tolerability of Compugen's COM701, an investigational anti-PVRIG antibody, in combination with Bristol-Myers Squibb's programmed death-1 (PD-1) immune checkpoint inhibitor Opdivo (nivolumab), in patients with advanced solid tumors. In conjunction with this collaboration, Bristol-Myers Squibb will make a $12 million equity investment in Compugen.

Compugen will sponsor the ongoing two-part Phase 1 trial, which includes the evaluation of the combination of COM701 and Opdivo in four tumor types, including non-small cell lung, ovarian, breast and endometrial cancer. The collaboration is also designed to address potential future combinations, including trials sponsored by Bristol-Myers Squibb to investigate combined inhibition of checkpoint mechanisms, such as PVRIG and TIGIT. The clinical combination of multiple immune checkpoint inhibition is designed to test the biological rationale of the PVRIG pathway and the synergistic activity demonstrated in preclinical models.

"We are excited to have Bristol-Myers Squibb, the global leader in immuno-oncology, as a collaborator and strategic investor in Compugen," said Anat Cohen-Dayag, Ph.D., President and CEO of Compugen Ltd. "This collaboration gives Compugen access to Bristol-Myers Squibb's Opdivo, enabling the evaluation of COM701 plus a PD-1 inhibitor and potentially accelerating the timeline for clinical testing of COM701 as part of other novel combinations."

"Our goal is to evaluate whether the innovative combination of COM701 with Opdivo is safe and active in various tumor types," said Fouad Namouni, M.D., Head of Development, Oncology, Bristol-Myers Squibb. "We look forward to building a strong collaboration with Compugen and addressing significant unmet needs."

Under the terms of the share purchase agreement, Bristol-Myers Squibb will make a $12 million investment in Compugen comprised of 2,424,243 shares of Compugen stock purchased at $4.95 per share, representing a 33% premium over the average closing price on the last 20 NASDAQ trading days.  The investment is expected to close on or about October 12, 2018, subject to closing conditions.

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