BL-8020 is a proprietary fixed-dose combination treatment composed of Ribavirin and Hydroxychloroquine (HCQ). Efficacy results in replicon assays, as well as in ex-vivo infected human liver samples, showed a time and dose-dependent inhibitory effect of BL-8020 on HCV replication and infectivity. In addition, a synergistic effect with other anti-HCV agents was observed in these models. This effect on other therapies is likely to increase their potency and reduce the numerous adverse effects often associated with these drugs by reducing their effective doses. BL-8020 targets the infected host cells and inhibits HCV induced autophagy in the host. This unique mechanism of action differentiates BL-8020 from other currently used anti-HCV agents in its potential pan genotypic activity and high genetic barrier to resistance (low susceptibility for drug-resistant mutations to be developed by the virus). BL-8020 was licensed under a worldwide, exclusive agreement from Genoscience, a French company focused on viral disease therapeutics. It was developed as an anti-viral therapy by Professor Philippe Halfon, Co-Founder and President of Genoscience and a world-renowned scientist for his work on HIV, HPV (human papilloma virus causing cervical cancer) and hepatitis.
About Hepatitis C
Hepatitis C infection is a blood-borne infection of the liver caused by the hepatitis C virus (HCV) which becomes chronic in about 85% of cases. According to a 2011 report from Decision Resources, about 180 million people worldwide are chronically infected with HCV. In addition, HCV infection is the leading cause of liver transplantation and is a risk factor for liver cancer. The global hepatitis market was estimated at $6 billion in 2011 and is forecasted to grow to $20 billion by the end of the decade.
BioLineRx is a publicly-traded biopharmaceutical development company dedicated to building a portfolio of products for unmet medical needs, as well as those with advantages over currently available therapies. The Company in-licenses novel compounds primarily from academic institutions and biotech companies based in Israel, develops them through pre-clinical and/or clinical stages, and then partners with pharmaceutical companies for advanced clinical development and/or commercialization.
BioLineRx’s current portfolio consists of a variety of clinical and pre-clinical projects, including: BL-1040 for prevention of pathological cardiac remodeling following a myocardial infarction, which has been out-licensed to Ikaria Inc. and is in the midst of a pivotal CE-Mark registration trial; BL-5010 for non-surgical removal of skin lesions, which is expected to commence a pivotal CE-mark registration trial in late 2013; BL-8040 for treating acute myeloid leukemia (AML) and other hematological cancers, which is in the midst of a Phase 2 study; and BL-7010 for celiac disease, which is expected to commence a Phase 1/2 study in late 2013.