In an effort to develop and commercialize its antibody treatment for type 1 diabetes, BioLineRx has signed a worldwide, exclusive license agreement with Yissum Research Development Company of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, B.G. Negev Technologies and Applications, and Hadasit Medical Research Services and Development, all based in Israel.
BL-9020 was developed to treat type 1 diabetes in early-stage patients, during a “honeymoon period” when the insulin-producing pancreatic cells are not completely destroyed and continue to secrete insulin. According to the company, preclinical studies suggest that BL-9020 can preserve surviving cells, preventing full maturation of the disease. BL-9020 works by targeting the Natural Killer (NK) receptor NKp46, which has been linked to Type 1 diabetes.
“If the disease could be slowed down or halted at this stage, it would be a significant step towards curing diabetes, and will definitely improve the quality of life for millions,” said Moshe Phillip, M.D., director of the Institute of Endocrinology and Diabetes, National Center for Childhood Diabetes at Schneider Children’s Medical Center in Israel, and vice president of medical affairs at BioLineRx.
BioLineRx was formed in 2003 with the goal of bringing global attention to Israel’s biotech. It has since expanded its interests and now inlicenses preclinical and early-stage clinical projects and advances them until they are ready for outlicensing and commercialization.