Research & Development

Gilead and Compugen announce new agreement for immunotherapy programme

Gilead Sciences and Compugen have announced that they have entered an exclusive licence agreement for Compugen’s potential first in class, preclinical antibody programme against IL-18 binding protein, including the COM503 drug candidate. 
The agreement means Gilead will make an upfront payment of $60m as well as $30m in a near-term milestone payment, with a total deal value of up to $848m, comprising $758m in future development, regulatory and commercial milestones.
Under terms of this agreement, Compugen will remain responsible for the ongoing phase 1 trial of COM503, following which Gilead will have exclusive rights to develop and commercialise the drug candidate.
Anat Cohen-Dayag PhD, president and chief executive officer of Compugen, commented: “We are delighted to enter into this collaboration with Gilead and believe that Gilead’s confidence in our differentiated approach to harness cytokine biology for cancer therapeutics speaks to the quality of our computational discovery capabilities as well as our ability to translate our novel discoveries into investigational drugs in the clinic, and we look forward to working together to bring new treatment options to patients. IL-18 is one of the rare cytokines which is naturally inhibited by an endogenous binding protein, presenting a unique opportunity to use a blocking antibody to increase the local concentrations of IL-18 within the tumour where it can potentiate anti-tumour immune responses, thereby potentially overcoming the limitations of systemically administered cytokines.”
Flavius Martin MD, executive vice president of Research at Gilead Sciences, added: “We are very pleased to add COM503 to our pipeline of investigational immuno-oncology therapies that have the potential to transform care for patients with cancer. We believe that this collaboration complements our strategy of developing modalities which promote immune-mediated tumour killing and may enable new combination therapies with programmes in our growing oncology portfolio.”