BioLineRx Announces In-Licensing of BL-9020
News Oct 24, 2013
BioLineRx has announced that it has signed a worldwide, exclusive license agreement with Yissum Research Development Company of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, B.G. Negev Technologies and Applications Ltd., and Hadasit Medical Research Services and Development Ltd. for BioLineRx to develop and commercialize BL-9020, for the treatment of Type 1 diabetes.
Promising results of preclinical studies in a mouse model of Type 1 diabetes demonstrated that BL-9020 is able to inhibit the onset of diabetes. Previously, the project was developed under BioLineRx's Early Development Program as EDP-10.
BL-9020 is a novel antibody treatment for prevention of the development of Type 1 diabetes. It was developed to treat Type 1 diabetes in early stage patients, during what is known as the "honeymoon period."
At this early stage of the disease, the insulin-producing pancreatic cells are not completely destroyed and continue to secrete insulin.
Pre-clinical studies suggest that BL-9020 can preserve surviving cells, thus preventing full maturation of the disease.
"Type 1 diabetes is a highly prevalent autoimmune disease affecting millions around the world. Currently there is no cure for the disease, and patients with diabetes need to administer insulin on a daily basis throughout their lifetime," said Professor Moshe Phillip, M.D., Director of the Institute of Endocrinology and Diabetes, National Center for Childhood Diabetes at Schneider Children's Medical Center in Israel, and Vice President of Medical Affairs at BioLineRx.
Professor Phillip continued, "Oftentimes, when the disease is diagnosed, patients experience a "honeymoon period" which may last up to a year, during which there are still some insulin producing cells in the pancreas. If the disease could be slowed down or halted at this stage, it would be a significant step towards curing diabetes, and will definitely improve the quality of life for millions."
Dr. Kinneret Savitsky, CEO of BioLineRx, stated, "The results of the pre-clinical studies were extremely convincing, and raise hopes that BL-9020 can be an effective treatment that will prevent the development of diabetes. In the study, which was performed on a mouse model for diabetes, only 40% of the mice treated with BL-9020 developed the disease, compared to 100% in the control group. Therefore, we have high hopes that BL-9020 will be an effective treatment for preventing or delaying full development of the disease in humans.
"Due to its unique mechanism of action, promising in vivo results and the true unmet medical need, this project, although still in pre-clinical stages of development, is already under discussion with a number of potential optimization and manufacturing co-development partners. We believe the co-development approach is the most effective for us in the unique development of antibodies," concluded Dr. Savitsky.