Compugen Ltd., a clinical-stage cancer immunotherapy company and a leader in predictive target discovery, today reported financial results for the fourth quarter and full year ended December 31, 2019.
"2019 was a transformative year for Compugen and we are incredibly proud of the progress we have made in advancing COM701 and COM902," said Anat Cohen-Dayag, Ph.D., President and CEO of Compugen. "We are excited about our unique position in the immuno-oncology space as to our knowledge we are the only company with two clinical programs that address PVRIG and TIGIT, parallel inhibitory pathways of the DNAM axis. This differentiator is particularly important given the increasing excitement and growing recognition of the DNAM axis in cancer immunotherapy as evidenced by the development of other TIGIT antibodies in pharma. In addition, the encouraging initial signals of anti-tumor activity with COM701 monotherapy in an extremely challenging, refractory, all-comer population, has bolstered our conviction that targeting PVRIG as a newly discovered inhibitory pathway in the larger DNAM axis, has the potential to expand the reach of cancer immunotherapy."
Dr. Cohen-Dayag continued, "We are also thrilled to expand our clinical collaboration with Bristol-Myers Squibb and to initiate a Phase 1/2 study evaluating a triple combination of COM701 in combination with Opdivo® and BMS-986207, Bristol-Myers Squibb's TIGIT inhibitor. This will allow us to immediately move COM701 to a triple combination study blocking three immune checkpoint pathways – PVRIG, TIGIT and PD-1 – and accelerate the evaluation of our hypothesis that simultaneous blockade of the DNAM axis in addition to PD-1 will enable robust activation of T cells, potentially leading to enhanced anti-tumor responses in certain patients who are not responsive to PD-1 blockers alone. We look forward to our continued evolution with important milestones in our clinical programs."
Recent and 2019 Corporate Highlights :
Announced plans to expand the Bristol-Myers Squibb collaboration with a Phase 1/2 triple combination study to evaluate COM701 in combination with Opdivo® and BMS-986207, Bristol-Myers Squibb's TIGIT inhibitor. The study is expected to begin in 2H 2020.
Presented initial clinical findings from ongoing Phase 1 trial of COM701 in patients with advanced solid tumors at the annual meeting of the Society for Immunotherapy of Cancer (SITC 2019)
COM701 was well-tolerated with no dose-limiting toxicities observed.
Initial signals of anti-tumor activity were observed in the heavily pretreated, all-comers patient population enrolled in the study.
Presented trial-in-progress data at ASCO-SITC Clinical Immuno-Oncology Symposium from the Phase 1 study evaluating COM701 as a monotherapy and in combination with Opdivo® (nivolumab)
Enrollment in the eighth dose level patient cohort of 20mg/kg at Q4 weekly dosing schedule is ongoing in the monotherapy dose escalation study.
Enrollment in the fourth dose level patient cohort at Q4 weekly dosing schedule in the combination dose escalation study of COM701 with Opdivo® has been completed. No dose-limiting toxicities have been reported.
Announced Investigational New Drug application clearance by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for COM902. A Phase 1 trial in patients with advanced malignancies is expected to begin in early 2020.
Presented new preclinical data on COM902 at SITC 2019, supporting its potential best-in-class binding affinity and clinical use as a cancer immunotherapy treatment in combination with COM701 and PD-1 inhibitors.
Strengthened intellectual property portfolio related to COM701 and COM902
Granted U.S. Patent No. 10,213,505, covering the composition of COM701 and backup antibodies.
Granted U.S. Patent No. 10,227,408, covering the composition of an anti-PVRIG antibody having complementarity-determining regions (CDRs) of COM701 and backup antibodies.
Granted U.S. Patent No. 10,351,625, covering the method of use of COM701 or backup antibody in combination with anti-PD-1 antibodies.
Granted EPO Patent No. EP3347379, covering the composition of matter of COM902, alone or with second antibody that binds to a human checkpoint receptor protein, including PD-1 and its use.
Granted EPO Patent No. EP3258951, covering the use of any anti-PVRIG antibody that activates T cells and/or NK cells, in the treatment of cancer.
Granted U.S. Patent No. 10,550,173, covering methods of screening for anti-PVRIG antibodies that inhibit the binding of PVRIG with PVRL2.
Research and development expenses for the fourth quarter and year ended December 31, 2019, were $4.3 million, and $19.8 million, respectively, compared with $7.5 million and $30.3 million for the prior periods in 2018. The decrease in both cases is attributed mostly to the restructuring process we announced at the end of the first quarter of 2019, as well as preclinical activities related to COM902, most of which were concluded in 2018. This reduction was offset by an increase in expenses associated with clinical-related activities of the COM701 Phase 1 trial, which began in the second half of 2018.
Net loss for the fourth quarter of 2019 was $6.5 million, or $0.10 per basic and diluted share, compared with a net loss of $9.4 million, or $0.16 per basic and diluted share, in the comparable period of 2018. Net loss for the year ended December 31, 2019 was $27.3 million, or $0.43 per basic and diluted share, compared with a net loss of $22.6 million, or $0.41 per basic and diluted share, for the year ended December 31, 2018.
As of December 31, 2019, cash, cash related accounts, short-term and long-term bank deposits totaled approximately $43.9 million, compared with approximately $45.7 million as of December 31, 2018. The Company has no debt.