- Results to date confirm that single injection of BL-8040 mobilizes sufficient amounts of cells required for allogeneic transplantation without need for G-CSF -
- Top-line results expected by end of 2017 -
The study consists of donor and patient pairs for allogeneic hematopoietic cell transplantation. The first part of the study, which is nearing completion, is intended to enroll an initial cohort of 10 donor and recipient pairs, consisting of patients with advanced hematological malignancies and their HLA-matched sibling donors. Interim results show that a single injection of BL-8040 mobilized sufficient amounts of cells required for transplantation at a level of efficacy similar to that achieved by using 4-6 injections of G-CSF, the current standard of care. Furthermore, all recipients transplanted so far have experienced a successful neutrophil engraftment. The recipients will be followed for one year to assess acute and chronic GVHD events. As for the donors, BL-8040 treatment was safe and well tolerated.
"We continue our efforts to maximize the potential of our unique BL-8040 oncology platform, with multiple clinical studies for additional indications up and running or expected to start in 2017, including several combination studies with immune checkpoint inhibitors and a registration study in stem-cell mobilization for autologous transplantation," added Mr. Serlin.
The Phase 2 open-label study is conducted in collaboration with the
The study will also evaluate the safety and tolerability of BL-8040 in healthy donors, as well as graft durability, the incidence of grade 2-4 acute and chronic GVHD, and other recipient related parameters in patients who have undergone transplantation of hematopoietic cells mobilized with BL-8040.
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.
About Stem Cell Mobilization
High-dose chemotherapy followed by hematopoietic cell transplantation has become an established treatment modality for a variety of hematologic malignancies, including multiple myeloma, as well as various forms of lymphoma and leukemia. Modern peripheral stem-cell harvesting often replaces the use of traditional surgical bone marrow stem-cell harvesting. In the modern method, stem cells are mobilized from the bone marrow using granulocyte colony-stimulating factor (G-CSF), often with the addition of a mobilizing agent such as Plerixafor (Mozobil), harvested from the donor's peripheral blood by apheresis, and infused to the patient after chemotherapy ablation treatment.
An allogeneic hematopoietic cell transplant involves matching a patient's tissue type, specifically their human leukocyte antigen (HLA) tissue type, with that of a related or unrelated donor. HLA proteins are found on all cells of our body and are the main way the immune system tells the difference between our own cells and foreign cells. The closer the HLA match between a donor and recipient, the greater the chance a transplant will be successful. If the HLA match is not close enough, the donor's immune system, which accompanies the donated stem cells, recognizes the HLA mismatch, and will attack the recipient's tissues. This process is known as graft versus host disease (GVHD).
Approximately 70% of people with a hematological malignancy or bone marrow failure syndrome who need an allogeneic transplant have an HLA-identical sibling or unrelated donor available. For patients who need a stem cell transplant but do not have an HLA-matched related or unrelated donor, recent medical advances have made possible the use of a partially matched or haploidentical related donor. A haploidentical related donor is usually a 50% match to the recipient and may be the recipient's parent, sibling or child.
The advantage of having a haploidentical transplant is that it increases the chance of finding a donor as almost everyone has at least one haploidentical relative. Relatives can usually be asked to donate stem cells much more quickly than unrelated volunteer donors, particularly when the volunteer donors live in other countries, thereby allowing transplants to be done in a more timely manner.
With improvements in medical treatment, complications of a haploidentical transplant, such as GVHD, rejection of the graft and slow recovery of the immune system appear not to be increased compared to transplants using HLA-matched related or unrelated donors. Since this is a relatively new approach to stem cell transplantation, a haploidentical transplant is a treatment option that is not offered at all treatment centers, but is becoming more common.
BioLineRx is a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company focused on oncology and immunology. 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 has successfully completed a Phase 2a study for relapsed/refractory AML and is in the midst of a Phase 2b study as an AML consolidation treatment and a Phase 2 study in stem cell mobilization for allogeneic transplantation; and BL-7010 for celiac disease and gluten sensitivity, which has successfully completed a Phase 1/2 study. In addition, BioLineRx has a strategic collaboration with
For additional information on BioLineRx, please visit the Company's website at http://www.biolinerx.com, where you can review the Company's
Various statements in this release concerning BioLineRx's 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 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