Bioline RX Ltd (NASDAQ:BLRX) announced that detailed results from a study on the underlying mechanism of action of BL-8040, its lead platform for the treatment of multiple cancer and hematological indications, were presented by Prof. Amnon Peled at the American Association of Cancer Research(AACR) 2016 meeting in New Orleans.
The work presented, entitled “CXCR4 Controls BCL-2 Expression and Function by Regulating miR-15a/16-1 Expression in Tumor Cells,” illustrates the mechanism by which the CXCR4 pathway controls malignant cell survival and death in preclinical studies. Specifically, the studies point out how BL-8040 increases the expression and activity of a special class of microRNA precursors termed miR-15a/16-1. These microRNA molecules have been previously linked to cancer, and shown to suppress the activity of several tumor-related pro-survival proteins, specifically BCL2, MCL1 and cyclin D1. The studies presented showed that BL-8040 increases the suppression of these three target proteins through miR-15a/16-1, thereby increasing tumor cell death.
The BL-8040 oncology platform is a short cyclic peptide that functions as a high-affinity antagonist for CXCR4, a chemokine receptor that is directly involved in tumor progression, angiogenesis, metastasis and cell survival. CXCR4 is overexpressed in the majority of cancer cells, and its degree of expression often correlates with disease severity.
Dr. Kinneret Savitsky, CEO of BioLineRx, stated, “We recently announced the successful top-line results for BL-8040, in combination with Cytarabine, one of the standard-of-care chemotherapies, in a Phase 2 study in relapsed or refractory AML. In that study, BL-8040 showed a triple effect on the leukemic cells. First, BL-8040 monotherapy triggered robust mobilization of AML cells from the bone marrow to the peripheral blood, thereby sensitizing these cells to the chemotherapy and improving its efficacy. Second, BL-8040 monotherapy showed a 3-4 fold increase in the direct apoptotic effect on the leukemia cells in the bone marrow. Last, BL-8040 monotherapy induced leukemia progenitor cells towards differentiation. As a result of these factors, we reported a 38% complete remission rate in the study, compared to historical remission rates in similar patient populations with similar treatment regimens of approximately 20% for Cytarabine on a stand-alone basis. We look forward to providing the full results of this study at an upcoming scientific conference.”
“In this regard, we are pleased to announce the current study results presented at the AACR meeting, which provide significant clarity regarding BL-8040’s mechanism of action relating to apoptosis. The data suggest that BL-8040 is able to indirectly suppress the activity of several tumor-promoting genes, by increasing the activity of the microRNA molecule miR-15a/16-1. Of note, one of these pro-survival proteins, BCL-2, is a validated anti-cancer target that is recently attracting a lot of interest in the drug development space.”
“In order to further expand and enhance the potential of our unique oncology platform, BL-8040 is undergoing multiple clinical studies, including our recently announced immuno-oncology collaboration with Merck on a Phase 2 study to investigate BL-8040 in combination with KEYTRUDA® for the treatment of pancreatic cancer,” concluded Dr. Savitsky. (Original Source)
Shares of Biolinerx are up nearly 3% to $1.05 in pre-market trading. BLRX has a 1-year high of $2.80 and a 1-year low of $0.85. The stock’s 50-day moving average is $1.05 and its 200-day moving average is $1.20.
On the ratings front, Biolinerx has been the subject of a number of recent research reports. In a report issued on April 5, Maxim Group analyst Jason Kolbert reiterated a Buy rating on BLRX, with a price target of $4, which represents a potential upside of 292.2% from where the stock is currently trading. Separately, on March 29, Roth Capital’s Joseph Pantginis maintained a Buy rating on the stock and has a price target of $7.
According to TipRanks.com, which ranks over 7,500 financial analysts and bloggers to gauge the performance of their past recommendations, Jason Kolbert and Joseph Pantginis have a total average return of -10.5% and 2.0% respectively. Kolbert has a success rate of 34.4% and is ranked #3794 out of 3807 analysts, while Pantginis has a success rate of 38.4% and is ranked #913.
BioLineRx Ltd. engages in the pharmaceutical industry. It develops pre-clinical and clinical stage therapeutics with specialization in skin lesions, acute myocardial infarction, acute myeloid leukemia and hematological cancers, inflammatory bowel disease, hepatitis C, celiac disease, schizophrenia, diabetes, allergies, and asthma. The firm offers in-licensing and out-licensing partnerships with researchers, universities, and companies. The company was founded in April 2003 and is headquartered in Modi’in, Israel.