HOLON, Israel, Feb. 4, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- Compugen Ltd. (Nasdaq: CGEN), a clinical-stage cancer immunotherapy company and leader in predictive target discovery, announced today that the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) has granted the Company a new patent for methods of screening for anti-PVRIG antibodies that inhibit the binding of PVRIG with PVRL2. U.S. Patent No. 10,550,173, titled "PVRIG Polypeptides and Methods of Treatment," covers a method of screening for any anti-PVRIG antibody that inhibits the binding of PVRIG with PVRL2, which can be used, for example, for determining the effect of candidate antibody agents on various T cell activation. The patent is expected to expire in the United States no earlier than February 2036. About COM701 and PVRIG COM701 is a humanized antibody that binds with high affinity to PVRIG, a novel immune checkpoint target candidate discovered by Compugen, blocking the interaction with its ligand, PVRL2. Blockade of PVRIG by COM701 has demonstrated potent, reproducible enhancement of T cell activation, consistent with the desired mechanism of action of activating T cells in the tumor microenvironment to generate anti-tumor immune responses. In addition, COM701 combined with antagonist anti-PD-1 antibodies has demonstrated synergistic effects in enhancing human T cell stimulation and inhibiting tumor growth in murine models, indicating an intersection of the PVRIG and PD-1 inhibitory pathways and the potential of these combinations to further enhance immune response against tumors. PVRIG and TIGIT constitute parallel immune checkpoint pathways that counteract DNAM, a costimulatory molecule on T cells and NK cells. Preclinical data for COM701 suggest that PVRIG may be a dominant checkpoint pathway in diverse patient populations with tumors that express elevated PVRL2, the ligand of PVRIG, as compared to expression of PVR, the ligand of TIGIT. This includes patients with breast, endometrial, and ovarian cancers. In addition, expression studies show that PVRIG, TIGIT, and their respective ligands, are expressed in a broad variety of tumor types, such as those noted above, as well as lung, kidney, and head & neck cancers. In these tumors the blockade of both TIGIT and PVRIG may be required to sufficiently stimulate an anti-tumor immune response, with or without additional PD-1 pathway blockade. COM701 is in Phase 1 clinical trials in patients with advanced solid tumors, to evaluate monotherapy and combination therapy with a PD-1 inhibitor. About Compugen Compugen is a clinical-stage therapeutic discovery and development company utilizing its broadly applicable, predictive computational discovery platforms to identify novel drug targets and develop therapeutics in the field of cancer immunotherapy. The Company's lead product candidate, COM701, a first-in-class anti-PVRIG antibody, for the treatment of solid tumors, is undergoing a Phase 1 clinical study. In addition, COM902, Compugen's antibody targeting TIGIT, is expected to enter the clinic in early 2020. The Company's therapeutic pipeline also includes early-stage immuno-oncology programs focused largely on myeloid targets. Compugen's business model is to selectively enter into collaborations for its novel targets and related drug product candidates at various stages of research and development. The Company is headquartered in Israel, with offices in South San Francisco, CA. Compugen's shares are listed on the Nasdaq and the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol CGEN. For additional information, please visit Compugen's corporate website at www.cgen.com. Forward-Looking Statement This press release contains "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of the Securities Act of 1933 and the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended, and the safe-harbor provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Such forward-looking statements are based on the current beliefs, expectations and assumptions of Compugen's management. Forward-looking statements can be identified by the use of terminology such as "will," "may," "expects," "anticipates," "believes," "potential," "plan," "goal," "estimate," "likely," "should," "confident," and "intends," and similar expressions that are intended to identify forward-looking statements, although not all forward-looking statements contain these identifying words. Forward-looking statements include, but are not limited to, statements regarding the expected expiration date of the patent in the U.S. These forward-looking statements involve known and unknown risks and uncertainties that may cause the actual results, performance or achievements of Compugen to be materially different from any future results, performance or achievements expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements. Among these risks: Compugen's business model is substantially dependent on entering into collaboration agreements with third parties and Compugen may not be successful in generating adequate revenues or commercializing aspects of its business model and patent reform and other legislative changes in the U.S. and other countries may affect our ability to obtain and enforce our patents. These risks and other risks are more fully described in the "Risk Factors" section of Compugen's most recent Annual Report on Form 20-F filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) as well as other documents that may be subsequently filed by Compugen from time to time with the SEC. In addition, any forward-looking statements represent Compugen's views only as of the date of this release and should not be relied upon as representing its views as of any subsequent date. Compugen does not assume any obligation to update any forward-looking statements unless required by law.