Drug already evaluated against myasthenia gravis will be developed for inflammatory diseases as well.

BioLineRx negotiated an exclusive license to develop an orally available, Phase II-ready inflammatory bowel disease candidate, BL-7040, originating from research at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. The worldwide licensing deal has been signed with Yissum Research Development, the technology transfer arm of the Hebrew University.

BL-7040 has dual activity at the nervous and immune systems, which Yissum claims means the candidate could have applications in the treatment of both neurological diseases and immune system-related conditions including inflammatory or autoimmune diseases. BL-7040 has already been successfully tested in Phase Ib and IIa trials against myasthenia gravis, but the discovery of a new mechanism of action for the drug has prompted BioLineRx to reposition the drug to the wider markets of IBD and other inflammatory diseases.

BL-7040 acts to suppress inflammatory responses by directly activating the anti-inflammatory protein TLR-9 and increasing activity of the cholinergic, anti-inflammatory pathway, states the drug’s original inventor, Professor Hermona Soreq from Hebrew University.

BioLineRx says addition of BL-7040 to its pipeline means the firm now has five candidates in clinical development. BL-1020 is a GABA-enhanced antipsychotic that combines dopamine antagonism with GABAergic activity, which is poised to start in a Phase II/III trial against schizophrenia. BL-1040 will shortly start in two pivotal trials for the treatment of patients following myocardial infarction, and has been licensed out to Ikaria for development and commercialization.

BL-5010 is a topical formulation of already approved components, which is in development for the non-surgical removal of benign skin lesions such as seborrheic keratosis. A Phase I/II trial evaluating BL-5010 in seborrheic keratosis has been completed in Germany and the Netherlands. BL-1021 is an orally available NCE designed to inhibit the reuptake of norepinephrine and serotonin. The drug is undergoing Phase I evaluation as a potential treatment for neuropathic pain.

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