BMS and Compugen join forces on solid tumour clinical trials

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BMS and Compugen will enter into a clinical collaboration to evaluate therapeutic regimen in advanced solid tumours. 

The clinical trial collaboration between Bristol-Myers Squibb and Compugen will 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 tumours. 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 tumour 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.

Under the terms of the share purchase agreement between BMS and Compugen, 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.

This is not the first collaboration BMS have formed to evaluate solid tumours. Last year AbbVie & Bristol-Myers Squibb formed a clinical research collaboration to investigate AbbVie’s investigational antibody drug conjugate ABBV-399 in solid tumours.

Anat Cohen-Dayag, Ph.D., President and CEO of Compugen Ltd said, “We are excited to have Bristol-Myers Squibb, the global leader in immuno-oncology, as a collaborator and strategic investor in Compugen. 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.”

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