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Dec 30, 2010

Compugen Gets $5M Funding from Baize in Return for Stake in Five Preclinical Candidates

  • Compugen is to receive $5 million in R&D funding from Baize Investments (Israel) to support the development of its pipeline. The deal gives Baize a financial stake in five specified preclinical Compugen candidates, and the investment firm has also been issued a warrant to purchase 500,000 Compugen shares at $6 per share, exercisable up to June 30, 2013.

    The financial structure of the arrangement means Baize will receive from Compugen up to 10% of designated future payments received by the latter from third parties it may license the molecules out to for development and/or commercialization. Alternatively, Baize has the right to waive its right to all these future payments in exchange for 833,334 Compugen ordinary shares. These terms are based on the assumption that any outlicensing of the designated molecules is undertaken no later than IND filing, Compugen explains.

    Israel-based Compugen is focused on building up a suite of predictive in silico technologies and experimental approaches for modeling biological processes at the molecular level and enabling the selection of therapeutic and diagnostic product candidates. Its technologies include a mAb-target discovery computational platform to identify novel drug targets for antibody therapeutics.

    Current fields of interest include the identification of GPCR peptide ligands, disease-associated conformation peptide blockers, protein-protein interaction blockers, drug delivery peptides, mAb targets, and nucleic acid diagnostics. In the biomarkers field Compugen is in addition working to discover genomic markers of drug response and biomarkers of drug toxicity.

    The firm is exploiting its capabilities both for the development of an in-house pipeline of therapeutics and diagnostics targeting multiple disease fields and through collaborations with partners including Merck & Co. and Pfizer. Additional collaborations with Bayer Schering Pharma, Medarex, and Seattle Genetics are focused on the development of antibody therapeutics.

    Earlier this month Compugen announced positive results from an animal study evaluating its in-house recombinant fusion protein candidate CGEN-15001 in an animal model of rheumatoid arthritis (RA). Earlier animal studies had already demonstrated the potential of the candidate in an animal model of multiple sclerosis.

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