Comprehensive coverage

Compugen is establishing a new unit in the US for the development of antibody-based drugs

The antibodies will be developed against target proteins discovered by Compugen * Dr. Marie Hack-Frendshaw and Dr. John J. Hunter will lead the new venture

One of the antibodies discovered by Compigen. From the company website
One of the antibodies discovered by Compigen. From the company website

Compugen announced the establishment of a new unit in California, USA for the development of medicines based on monoclonal antibodies in the fields of oncology and immunology. The antibodies will be developed against target proteins discovered by Compugen. Compugen Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Compugen, aims to translate the growing variety of target proteins discovered and validated by the parent company into promising antibody drugs for licensing or joint development agreements. Compugen also announced today that as of April 1, Dr. Marie Hack-Frendshaw will be appointed as Compugen Inc. Chairman, and Dr. John G. Hunter, as Vice President of Antibody Research and Development and as Director of the new unit.

The new unit in South San Francisco will be located in recently leased dedicated facilities with the required laboratory equipment. By locating the activity in the homeland of biotech, the company is accessible to a large number of experts in the field of biological drugs as well as to supporting infrastructures. Through the new unit, Compugen expects to significantly increase the number of target proteins against which antibodies will be developed thanks to the ability to perform these activities more efficiently within the company and not rely solely on outsourcing, as previously planned.

Dr. Anat Cohen-Daig, Compugen's President and CEO, said, "We are very happy to establish the new unit under their management and using the expertise of Dr. Hack-Frandshaw and Dr. Hunter, both prominent researchers and managers in the research and development of medicinal antibodies in the field biotechnology. We are at an important juncture where Compugen's unique platform for identifying target proteins against which antibodies will be developed yields new and high-quality targets that will enable the development of antibodies to treat medical needs that currently have no answer. We are enthusiastic and look forward to leveraging the commercial potential of our innovative and leading discovery capabilities through licensing agreements for the antibodies themselves, whose commercial value is much higher than that of the target proteins."

Dr. Marie Hack-Frendshaw added, “Dr. Hunter and I are delighted to found and lead Compugen's antibody drug development subsidiary. Given Compugen's advanced and groundbreaking science and the growing variety of promising antibody targets, we look forward to working closely with Compugen's scientists and management in Israel to ensure the development of antibody-based drugs."

In her role as Executive Chairman of Compugen Inc., Dr. Heck-Frendshaw will oversee the establishment and operation of the company's antibody units in the US. Dr. Hack-Frandshaw has over 20 years of industry experience, and in her most recent position served as the founding president and chief scientist of Takeda San Francisco (TSF), the antibody development division of Takeda pharmaceuticals. Before that, she held senior scientific and managerial positions at Genentech, Avgenics and Zuma.

Dr. John J. Hunter comes to Compugen with over 15 years of scientific experience in antibody research, genomics and drug development. As Vice President of Antibody Research and Development and Director of the Unit, Dr. Hunter will lead the creation of antibodies against targets discovered by Compugen, and their preclinical development. Prior to joining Compugen, Dr. Hunter served as a senior executive at Zuma, where he was responsible for strategic and operational moves in the development of a preclinical antibody pipeline. He started his career in the industry at Millennium Pharmaceuticals, where he specialized in oncology drugs.

The current announcement joins the company's announcement in December 2011 according to which the company intends to significantly accelerate and expand the activity of developing antibodies, which, in combination with therapeutic proteins, constitute the focus of the company's interest in the fields of oncology and immunology. At the same time, and as partial support for the expansion of activity in the field of antibodies, Compugen also announced an 8 million dollar research funding agreement signed with Baez Investments, a private corporation that invests in innovative medical technologies.

One response

  1. Suppose they develop an antibody against a protein, give it to a person, and then it turns out that the protein is important after all.
    How can the acquired immune resistance be canceled?

Leave a Reply

Email will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismat to prevent spam messages. Click here to learn how your response data is processed.