BioLineRx Ltd. (NASDAQ: BLRX) (TASE: BLRX), a biopharmaceutical development company, announced today that in vivo and in vitro data demonstrating the efficacy of BL-8040 in treating chronic myeloid leukemia (CML) has been accepted for presentation at the 2012 American Society of Hematology (ASH) annual meeting, the premier hematology scientific conference, to take place in Atlanta, Georgia on December 8-11, 2012.
BL-8040 (formerly BKT-140) is a clinical-stage drug candidate for the treatment of acute myeloid leukemia (AML), as well as other types of hematological cancer. It is a short peptide that functions as a high-affinity antagonist for CXCR4, a chemokine receptor that is directly involved in 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 I/II, open-label, dose escalation, safety and efficacy clinical trial in 16 multiple myeloma patients, BL-8040 demonstrated an excellent safety profile and was well tolerated at all doses tested.
BioLineRx intends to commence the next clinical studies for evaluating BL-8040’s efficacy on AML and acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) patients in the first half of 2013 and will conduct preparatory sessions at the ASH meeting with the principal investigators from the main U.S. sites.
BL-8040 has been shown to induce the mobilization of healthy hematopoietic stem cells from the bone marrow into the peripheral blood. BL-8040 also mobilizes cancer cells from the bone marrow and other sites and may therefore expose these cells to chemo- and bio-based anti-cancer therapy. It 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.