BioLineRx Ltd has announced that it has entered into a collaboration with Genentech to support several Phase 1b studies investigating BioLineRx’s BL-8040 in combination with Atezolizumab, Genentech’s anti-PDL1 cancer immunotherapy, in multiple cancer indications. The Phase 1b studies will evaluate the clinical response, safety and tolerability of the combination of these therapies, as well as multiple pharmacodynamic parameters, in hematologic malignancies and solid tumors.
Under the agreement, Genentech will sponsor and conduct several Phase 1b trials in multiple solid cancer indications. In addition, BioLineRx will sponsor and conduct a Phase 1b study in acute myeloid leukemia (AML) patients. The studies are planned as open-label, multicenter, single-arm trials designed to evaluate the safety and efficacy of the combination of BL-8040 and Atezolizumab. Upon completion of the studies, both parties will have the option to expand the collaboration to include a pivotal registration study. Additional details of the collaboration were not disclosed.
BL-8040, BioLineRx’s lead oncology platform, is a CXCR4 antagonist that has been shown in several clinical trials to be a robust mobilizer of immune cells and to be effective at inducing direct tumor cell death. Additional findings in the field of immuno-oncology suggest that CXCR4 antagonists may be effective in inducing the migration of anti-tumor T cells into the tumor micro-environment. Atezolizumab is a humanized monoclonal antibody designed to bind with a protein called PD-L1. Atezolizumab is designed to bind to PD-L1 expressed on tumor cells and tumor-infiltrating immune cells, blocking its interactions with both PD-1 and B7-1 (CD80) receptors.
By inhibiting PD-L1, Atezolizumab may enable the activation of T cells, whose migration into the tumor may be enhanced by BL-8040. "This collaboration agreement in multiple cancer indications with Genentech marks our second collaboration with a world leader in cancer immunotherapy for the combination of BL-8040 with an approved immune checkpoint inhibitor,” stated Philip Serlin, Chief Financial and Operating Officer of BioLineRx.
"Immune checkpoint inhibitors are a new class of promising drugs that have revolutionized anti-cancer treatment; however, it is becoming clear that certain tumor types will require a combination of immunotherapy with other classes of drugs. We are hopeful that the combination of BL-8040 and Atezolizumab will demonstrate the potential to expand the benefit of immunotherapy to cancer types currently resistant to cancer immunotherapy treatments.”