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GEN News Highlights : Sep 7, 2011

BioLineRx Gains Rights to Antipain Candidate from Tel Aviv University

BL-7050 is based on diclofenac but reportedly has a novel mechanism of action.

BioLineRx signed a worldwide, exclusive license agreement with Ramot at Tel Aviv University for the development and commercialization of BL-7050, an orally available treatment for neuropathic and inflammatory pain.

BL-7050 is based on technology developed in the laboratory of Bernard Attali, Ph.D., from the department of physiology and pharmacology, the Sackler faculty of medicine at Tel Aviv University. It is an NCE based on the molecular structure of diclofenac (Voltaren), a well-known nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug used for the treatment of nociceptive and inflammatory pain.

BL-7050 reportedly operates via a novel mechanism of action, though, namely opening specific potassium channels in nerve cells. The opening of these channels reduces the activity of the nerve cells, thereby reducing or preventing pain signals. Preclinical trials in cell culture and in animal models have shown that the molecule is effective at reducing neuronal activity and pain levels, according to BioLineRx. It also has an improved safely profile, the firm adds.

BioLineRx’ pipeline currently consists of five clinical-stage candidates: BL-1020 for schizophrenia is in Phase II/III trials; BL-1040 for treatment of patients following a myocardial infarction has completed a Phase I/II study and has been out-licensed to Ikaria in a deal valued at $282.5 million plus sales royalties; BL-5010 for nonsurgical removal of skin lesions has completed a Phase I/II study; BL-1021 for neuropathic pain is in Phase I development; and BL-7040 for treating inflammatory bowel disease has completed Phase I.

The company has nine candidates in various stages of preclinical development for a variety of indications including central nervous system diseases, oncology, infectious diseases, as well as cardiovascular and autoimmune diseases.