BioLineRx Announces Collaboration with MSD to Investigate the Combination of KEYTRUDA (pembrolizumab) and BL-8040 in Pancreatic Cancer
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. KEYTRUDA is a humanized monoclonal antibody that works by increasing the ability of the body's immune system to help detect and fight tumor cells. KEYTRUDA blocks the interaction between PD-1 and its ligands, PD-L1 and PD-L2, thereby activating T- lymphocytes, which may affect both tumor cells and healthy cells. The Phase 2 study will evaluate the clinical response, safety and tolerability of the combination of these therapies as well as multiple pharmacodynamic parameters, including the ability to improve infiltration of T cells into the tumor and their reactivity.
"We are extremely happy to collaborate with MSD, a pioneer and world leader in cancer immunotherapy. This marks the entrance of BL-8040 into this exciting field, which is already transforming the lives of many cancer patients," stated Dr.
"Today, there is a great opportunity and need to bring forward new scientific breakthroughs for the treatment of pancreatic cancer," said Dr.
The agreement is between BioLineRx and MSD, through a subsidiary. Per the terms of the agreement, the trial will be sponsored and performed by BioLineRx. The study is planned to commence by mid-2016. Upon completion of the study, or at any earlier point, both parties will have the option to expand the collaboration to include a pivotal registration study. Additional details of the collaboration were not disclosed.
BioLineRx will hold a conference call to discuss the collaboration today,
About Pancreatic Cancer
There are a number of types of pancreatic cancer. Based on available worldwide numbers, in 2012, pancreatic cancers of all types were the seventh most common cause of cancer deaths. According to the
BL-8040 is a short peptide for the treatment of acute myeloid leukemia, solid tumors, and certain hematological indications. It functions as a high-affinity antagonist for CXCR4, a chemokine receptor that is directly involved in tumor progression, angiogenesis, metastasis and cell survival. CXCR4 is over-expressed in more than 70% of human cancers and its expression often correlates with disease severity. In a number of clinical and pre-clinical studies, BL-8040 has shown robust mobilization of cancer cells from the bone marrow, thereby sensitizing these cells to chemo- and bio-based anti-cancer therapy, as well as a direct anti-cancer effect by inducing apoptosis. In addition, BL-8040 has also demonstrated robust stem-cell mobilization, including the mobilization of colony-forming cells, and T, B and NK cells. BL-8040 was licensed by BioLineRx from Biokine Therapeutics and was previously developed under the name BKT-140.
BioLineRx is a 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 leading therapeutic candidates are: BL-8040, a cancer therapy platform, which is in the midst of a Phase 2 study for relapsed/refractory AML, has recently initiated a Phase 2b study as an AML consolidation treatment, has recently initiated a Phase 1/2 study in hMDS and AA, and has successfully completed a Phase 1 study in stem cell mobilization; and BL-7010 for celiac disease, which has successfully completed a Phase 1/2 study. In addition, BioLineRx has a strategic collaboration with Novartis for the co-development of selected Israeli-sourced novel drug candidates.
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 future expectations 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 actual results, performance or achievements 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" sections of recent annual reports filed by the parties to this release. In addition, any forward-looking statements represent the parties' views only as of the date of this release and should not be relied upon as representing their views as of any subsequent date. The parties do not assume any obligation to update any forward-looking statements unless required by law.