Pursuant to the collaboration agreement, JHL Biotech will be responsible for all process development and manufacturing of BL-9020 during its pre-clinical and clinical development stages, and BioLineRx will be responsible for all pre-clinical development of BL-9020. Responsibility for clinical development of BL-9020 will be shared by the parties on a regional basis.
BL-9020 is a novel monoclonal antibody treatment designed to prevent destruction of insulin-producing beta cells in the pancreas. It was developed to treat Type 1 diabetes in early stage patients, during what is known as the "honeymoon period," where the pancreatic beta cells have not been completely destroyed and continue to secrete insulin. Pre-clinical studies in mouse models of Type 1 diabetes suggest that BL-9020 can preserve surviving cells, thus preventing full maturation of the disease. This effect could significantly delay, and potentially prevent, the need for chronic insulin use by Type 1 diabetes patients.
Under the terms of the agreement, JHL Biotech will have global manufacturing rights to BL-9020, along with development and commercialization rights in
"We are extremely pleased to partner with JHL Biotech, one of the rising stars of the Chinese biotech industry, with its impressive expertise in the development and manufacturing of biologic products, as well as its existing collaborations with leading global players. We view this as a strategic long-term partnership that we hope will form the basis for additional co-development projects for other biologic therapies," stated Dr.
"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. Oftentimes, when the disease is diagnosed, patients experience a "honeymoon period" that may last up to a year, during which there are still some insulin producing cells in the pancreas. Based on promising preclinical results, we have high hopes that BL-9020 may slow down or halt progression of the disease at this stage, which could be a significant step towards curing diabetes," added Dr. Savitsky.
BL-9020 is a first-in-class, monoclonal antibody which targets the Natural Killer (NK) receptor NKp46, which has been linked to Type 1 diabetes. Studies have shown that Natural Killer cells belonging to the innate immune system have a key role in the damage to pancreatic cells and, as a consequence, in the development of Type 1 diabetes. Professor
About Type 1 Diabetes
Type 1 diabetes, which usually appears in children and adolescents, results from auto-immune destruction of the pancreatic beta cells producing insulin. This leads to a pathological, high level of sugar in the blood and urine. Treatment of Type 1 diabetes is currently limited to lifetime administration of insulin by injection. The disease affects over 20 million people worldwide, and in 2012 the Type 1 diabetes market was estimated at over
About JHL Biotech
JHL Biotech is an emerging biopharmaceuticals company, founded by a group of biotech veterans and backed by a consortium of top-tier venture capital firms that includes
JHL Biotech has built new headquarters, research, and manufacturing facilities in
The two cGMP facilities were designed and built in collaboration with
For more information on JHL Biotech, please visit www.jhlbiotech.com.
BioLineRx is a publicly-traded, clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company dedicated to identifying, in-licensing and developing promising therapeutic candidates. The Company in-licenses novel compounds primarily from academic institutions and biotech companies based in
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
For more information on BioLineRx, please visit www.biolinerx.com or download the investor relations mobile device app, which allows users access to the Company's
Various statements in this release concerning BioLineRx's future expectations, including specifically those related to the development and commercialization of BL-9020, constitute "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These statements include words such as "may," "expects," "anticipates," "believes," and "intends," and describe opinions about future events. These forward-looking statements involve known and unknown risks and uncertainties that may cause the actual results, performance or achievements of BioLineRx to be materially different from any future results, performance or achievements expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements. Some of these risks are: changes in relationships with collaborators; the impact of competitive products and technological changes; risks relating to the development of new products; and the ability to implement technological improvements. These and other factors are more fully discussed in the "Risk Factors" section of BioLineRx's most recent annual report on Form 20-F filed with the
For JHL Biotech: