Healthcare Industry News:  Teva Pharmaceutical 

Biopharmaceuticals Licensing

 News Release - August 27, 2007

BioLineRx In-Licenses Novel Drug for the Treatment of Acute Kidney Injury

JERUSALEM--(HSMN NewsFeed)--BioLineRx Ltd. (TASE:BLRX), Israel's leading drug development company, today announced that it has signed a worldwide exclusive license agreement with Gene Vector Technologies Ltd. for the development and commercialization of BL-4040, a novel drug for the treatment of acute kidney injury (AKI). Financial terms of the license were not disclosed.

BL-4040 is a genetically-engineered version of the major capsid protein VP1, derived from the outer protein shell of the virus SV40, therefore it does not contain any viral material. By boosting the natural stress response and survival pathways of kidney cells, BL-4040 may prevent apoptosis (cell death) of kidney cells following AKI. In pre-clinical trials, BL-4040 has been shown to protect cultured cells from apoptosis in vitro and to dramatically increase survival when AKI was induced in mice. The compound was shown to be effective for the treatment of AKI over a wide dose range and was well-tolerated even at a 1,000 fold excess dose. BL-4040 was invented by Professor Ariella Oppenheim of the Department of Hematology and Dr. Yosef Haviv of the Department of Nephrology, Hadassah University Hospital, Jerusalem.

"BL-4040 is a promising addition to our rich and dynamic pipeline of exciting and innovative drug candidates. Acute kidney injury is a form of acute renal failure that often complicates hospitalizations and severely compromises patient prognosis and survival rates. BL-4040 is extremely effective in mice, relatively simple to produce and non-toxic, even at very high doses," stated Morris C. Laster, M.D., CEO of BioLineRx. "We believe that BL-4040 offers the potential for a highly effective and safe therapy that taps into the natural defense systems of the body."

"BL-4040 holds the promise of dramatically improving patient survival in hospitals in general and in the ICU in particular," said Professor Ariella Oppenheim, "We are confident that BioLineRx, with its drug development expertise and resources, is the best group to swiftly advance our invention towards the clinic and beyond."

About Acute Kidney Injury

Acute Kidney Injury complicates approximately 5 to 15% of hospitalizations, and is associated with a five-fold or more increase in hospital mortality rates. AKI also extends length of hospitalization, and may eventually lead to end-stage renal failure. In intensive care units, AKI is usually caused by sepsis and septic shock. Other major causes are ischemia and nephrotoxic agents. Despite modern support systems, mortality rates induced by sepsis-associated AKI remain as high as 70-80%.

About BioLineRx

BioLineRx, a clinical stage drug development company traded on the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange (TASE:BLRX), is dedicated to building a robust pipeline of promising therapeutics for unmet medical needs. The Company's leading programs are for schizophrenia and treatment of damaged heart tissue post-myocardial infarction. Additional products under development include compounds for the treatment of cancer and CNS, cardiovascular, metabolic, infectious and autoimmune diseases.

BioLineRx advances projects from early stage discovery and lead generation to advanced clinical trials, regulatory approval and marketing. Partnering with researchers, universities and biotech companies to further the commercialization of promising compounds, BioLineRx seeks to enrich the pipeline of large pharmaceutical companies seeking their next blockbuster drugs. The Company was founded in 2003 by leaders in the Israeli life science arena including Teva Pharmaceuticals Ltd, Giza, Pitango, Hadasit and the Jerusalem Development Authority. For more information, please visit www.biolinerx.com.

This press release contains "forward-looking statements." These statements include words like "may," "expects," "believes," "scheduled" 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.


Source: BioLineRx

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