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8 Aug 2013

Compugen and Bayer to Develop Cancer Immunotherapies

Compugen Ltd and Bayer HealthCare have announced they will be partnering to research, develop and sell immunotherapies for cancer.

The two companies will follow a preclinical research programme before Bayer takes over further development and the global commercialisation of any drugs created.

Head of global drug discovery and member of the Bayer HealthCare Executive Committee Andreas Busch said: "Antibody-based immunotherapies are promising approaches in oncology which can stimulate the body’s own immune cells to fight cancer cells."

Immunotherapy works as an alternative type of treatment to chemotherapy. While chemotherapy uses radiation to kill cancer, the cells can become resistant to the treatment. On the other hand, immunotherapy makes human cells attack the cancer.

Research suggests that immunotherapy can increase survival rates and reduce the chances of a cancer recurring. An example of this is the temozolide treatment for glioblastoma multiforme brain cancer, which was released in 2005. While patients of the disease only live for an average of 14.6 months if diagnosed early, the drug added 2.5 months to the survival rate of patients.

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