Bioline RX Ltd (NASDAQ:BLRX) investors are cheering the news that the company has signed an exclusive, worldwide agreement with BGN Technologies, the Technology Transfer Company of Ben-Gurion University, and Hadasit, theTechnology Transfer Company of Hadassah Medical Organization, for the in-licensing of a novel treatment for various liver failure conditions such as end-stage liver disease (ESLD) and for conditions potentially leading to liver failure such as non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH). This novel treatment, to be named BL-1220, is the second project in-licensed under the framework of the Company’s strategic collaboration with Novartis Pharma AG for the screening and development of novel drug candidates.
Bioline shares reacted to the news, jumping nearly 17% in pre-market trading Friday.
Philip Serlin, Chief Financial and Operating Officer of BioLineRx, said, “In August this year, we in-licensed the first compound under our multi-year strategic partnership with Novartis, a novel drug candidate for controlling liver fibrosis through modulation of the immune system. Today, we are pleased to announce the second compound under the Novartis collaboration, also for the treatment of liver pathologies. Both of these projects fit our strategic focus on the immunology space. We continue to work closely with Novartis to identify cutting-edge, novel therapies and we expect to bring additional promising projects to the collaboration by the end of the year.”
BL-1220 is an orally administered, novel composition of sodium alginate, developed by Professor Smadar Cohen from the Department of Biotechnology Engineering, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Israel, and Professor Yaron Ilan, Head of Internal Medicine Department A, Hadassah Medical Center, Jerusalem, Israel. Pre-clinical results obtained in animal models of liver impairment suggest that BL-1220 has strong hepato-protective effects. Collectively, the data demonstrate that BL-1220 is able to restore liver function. This technology could be directed toward rapid regeneration of normal liver in both acute and chronic conditions of liver injury. (Original Source)
On the ratings front, BLRX stock has been the subject of a number of recent research reports. In a report issued on September 8, Roth Capital analyst Joseph Pantginis maintained a Buy rating on BLRX, with a price target of $7.00, which represents a potential upside of 593% from where the stock is currently trading. Separately, on September 7, Maxim’s Jason Kolbert reiterated a Hold rating on the stock and has a price target of $1.00.
According to TipRanks.com, which ranks over 7,500 financial analysts and bloggers to gauge the performance of their past recommendations, Joseph Pantginis and Jason Kolbert have a total average return of 7.6% and -16.5% respectively. Pantginis has a success rate of 39% and is ranked #333 out of 4189 analysts, while Kolbert has a success rate of 29% and is ranked #4084.
BioLineRx Ltd. is a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company. Its activities include indentifying, in-licensing, and developing therapeutic candidates. It in-licenses novel compounds primarily from academic institutions and biotech companies based in Israel, and develops them through pre-clinical stages, and then partners with pharmaceutical companies clinical development and commercialization.