BioLineRx and Major Global Pharmaceutical Company Form Strategic Collaboration
News Dec 17, 2014
BioLineRx Ltd. has announced that it has entered into a multi-year strategic collaboration agreement with Novartis Pharma AG designed to facilitate development and commercialization of Israeli-sourced drug candidates.
Leveraging BioLineRx’s close and long-lasting ties with academic institutions, hospitals and biomedical companies in Israel, as well as its proven project screening process and development expertise, Novartis will evaluate projects identified and presented by BioLineRx for co-development and potential future licensing under the collaboration.
The companies intend to co-develop a number of pre-clinical and early clinical therapeutic projects through clinical proof-of-concept. As part of the agreement, Novartis has made an initial equity investment in BioLineRx of $10 million for 12.8% of BioLineRx’s current shares outstanding.
Dr. Kinneret Savitsky, CEO of BioLineRx, said, “This is a transformative collaboration for BioLineRx. Recognition by Novartis, the global leader for innovative therapeutics, is a further validation of our drug development capabilities, our business model, and our strong track record of selecting the most promising innovative therapeutic programs stemming from Israel’s leading research institutions and biotech start-ups, and developing them towards commercialization. Working closely with Novartis at relatively early stages of project development will enable us to tailor our development processes to meet their needs and expectations, helping to ensure agreed upon clinical goals are met successfully.”
Under the terms of the agreement, Novartis acquired an initial 5,000,000 American Depositary Shares of BioLineRx in a private transaction at a price of $2.00 per share for a total equity investment of $10 million. Novartis will not have any governance rights and has agreed to certain standstill provisions.
Novartis and BioLineRx will jointly evaluate both clinical and pre-clinical stage projects presented by BioLineRx via a Joint Steering Committee, which will determine which projects to advance further in development and on what terms. Projects at or reaching the clinical stage will be eligible for selection by Novartis.
Upon selection of a project, Novartis will pay BioLineRx an option fee of $5 million, as well as fund 50% of the anticipated remaining development costs associated with establishing clinical proof-of-concept, in the form of an additional equity investment in BioLineRx.
Novartis will have an exclusive right of first negotiation to license from BioLineRx each selected project upon establishment of clinical proof-of-concept. The companies intend to develop up to three programs pursuant to this collaboration.