The Phase 2 trial is a multicenter, open-label study under an IND, and is designed to evaluate the safety and efficacy of repeated escalating doses of BL-8040 in adult patients with relapsed or refractory AML. The primary endpoints of the study are to assess the safety and tolerability of BL-8040. Secondary endpoints include the pharmacokinetic profile of the drug and an efficacy evaluation, indicated by the extent of mobilization of cancer cells from the bone marrow to the peripheral blood, the level of cancer cell death (apoptosis) and clinical responses.
Eight patients have already been enrolled in the study, out of a total expected enrollment of up to 50 patients at eight clinical sites in the U.S. and
"We are very excited about the initial results from the Phase 2 trial of BL-8040 in relapsed and refractory AML patients. This is one of our most promising clinical-stage assets, and these results provide further support for the potential of this unique drug," said Dr.
"The dose escalation phase of the study requires a safety and tolerability assessment by an outside Data and Safety Monitoring Board prior to advancing to the next dose level, while the expansion phase will proceed at the optimal dose without the need for such assessment. Therefore, we expect the expansion phase of the study to proceed at a significantly faster pace than the dose escalation phase. We are looking forward to reporting further interim results at the end of the dose escalation phase, expected during the second quarter of 2014, with final study results expected in the second half of 2014. Future development plans for BL-8040 include entering into additional hematological indications, including the commencement of clinical studies in stem cell mobilization and chronic myeloid leukemia during the first half of 2014."
BL-8040 is a clinical-stage drug candidate for the treatment of acute myeloid leukemia and other hematological indications. It is a short peptide that functions as a high-affinity antagonist for CXCR4, a chemokine receptor that is directly involved in retention of cancer cells in the bone marrow, tumor progression, angiogenesis (growth of new blood vessels in the tumor), metastasis (spread of the disease to other organs or organ parts) and cell survival. CXCR4 is over-expressed in more than 70% of human cancers and its expression often correlates with disease severity. In a Phase 1/2, open-label, dose escalation, safety and efficacy clinical trial in 18 multiple myeloma patients, BL-8040 demonstrated an excellent safety profile at all doses tested and was highly effective in the mobilization of hematopoietic stem cells and white blood cells from the bone marrow to the peripheral blood.
BL-8040 also mobilizes cancer cells from the bone marrow and may therefore sensitize these cells to chemo therapy as well as 'targeted' anti-cancer therapy. Importantly, BL-8040 has also demonstrated a direct anti-cancer effect by inducing apoptosis (cell death). Pre-clinical studies show that BL-8040 is efficient, both alone and in combination with the anti-cancer drug Rituximab, in reducing bone marrow metastasis of lymphoma cells and stimulating lymphoma cell death. BL-8040 was licensed by BioLineRx from Biokine Therapeutics and was previously developed under the name BKT-140.
About Acute Myeloid Leukemia (AML)
Acute myeloid leukemia (AML) is a cancer of the blood and bone marrow and is the most common type of acute leukemia in adults. According to the
BioLineRx is a publicly-traded, clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company dedicated to identifying, in-licensing and developing promising therapeutic candidates. The Company in-licenses novel compounds primarily from academic institutions and biotech companies based in
BioLineRx's current portfolio consists of a variety of clinical and pre-clinical projects, including: BL-1040 for prevention of pathological cardiac remodeling following a myocardial infarction, which has been out-licensed to
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Various statements in this release concerning BioLineRx's future expectations, including specifically those related to the development and commercialization of BL-8040, 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