Immunotherapy for cancer – the use of a patient’s own antibodies to create cancer-blocking properties – has been called everything from the disease’s potential “off-switch” to the “beginning of the end of chemotherapy.”
In recent immunotherapy news, Israel-based Compugen announced in July what it calls a milestone in cancer immunotherapy collaboration. Working with Bayer HealthCare, Compugen aims to develop and commercialize “therapeutic antibodies against two checkpoint protein candidates discovered by Compugen,” as the company’s website puts it.
“We are very pleased by the achievement of this initial drug development milestone for one of the two programs in our collaboration with Bayer,” said Compugen President and CEO Dr. Anat Cohen Dayag. “After investing more than a decade of extensive multidisciplinary research in establishing our broadly applicable predictive discovery infrastructure, we selected the area of checkpoint-based cancer immunotherapy as our first focused discovery effort. Therefore, it is extremely satisfying to see our growing competitive position, in terms of both advancement of our therapeutic programs in immuno-oncology and continuing discoveries of novel targets in this exciting area, which is increasingly being viewed as a potential major breakthrough in cancer treatment.”
More immunotherapy news
On July 13, Business Standard reported that an immunotherapy treatment had been developed to treat cancer in dogs. “Scientists at the inter-university Messerli Research Institute of the Vetmeduni Vienna, the Medical University of Vienna, and the University of Vienna discovered that a receptor frequently found on human tumour cells (epidermal growth factor receptor or EGFR) is nearly 100 per cent identical with the EGF receptor in dogs,” as the Press Trust noted. Scientists noted that “due to the high similarity of the receptor in humans and dogs, this type of therapy should work well in dogs too.”