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BioLineRx in-licenses novel orally-available peptide for the treatment of obesity

JERUSALEM--(BUSINESS WIRE)--July 17, 2006--BioLineRx, Ltd., Israel's leading drug development company, announced today that it has signed an exclusive worldwide licensing agreement with Yissum, the technology transfer company of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, for the development and commercialization of BL-3020, a novel orally-available peptide for the treatment of obesity. Financial terms of the license were not disclosed.

BL-3020 is a peptide that reduces food intake by binding to specific receptors in the brain that control appetite. In contrast to most peptide-based drugs, it has been made orally available through innovative modifications in its chemical structure. These modifications enable BL-3020 to cross the blood brain barrier, and increase its stability and absorption in the digestive tract. As a modified peptide, BL-3020 is expected to have various advantages over current drugs, such as minimal immunogenic effects and fewer side effects.

BL-3020 was invented by Professors Chaim Gilon and Amnon Hoffman of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. BioLineRx plans to develop thecompound through BioLine Innovations Jerusalem, under the National Biotech Grant received in November 2004 from the Israeli Office of the Chief Scientist.

'We believe that through its novel mechanism of action and low side effect profile, BL-3020 has tremendous potential to address the growing health threat of obesity,' stated Morris C. Laster, M.D., CEO of BioLineRx. 'BL-3020 is a promising addition to our rich pipeline of exciting innovative drug candidates.' Nava Swersky Sofer, President and CEO of Yissum, commented, 'Professor Gilon and Professor Hoffman's invention holds the promise of dramatically improving patient care in an ailment that has become a significant health threat in the developed world. We are excited to partner with BioLineRx as they have the resources and abilities to turn this promise into reality.'

Pre-clinical experiments conducted at the Hebrew University, showed that oral administration of BL-3020 in mice resulted in a significant decrease in food consumption. The mice did not show any clinical or behavioral abnormalities after administration of BL-3020. BioLineRx is expected to conduct additional preclinical studies throughout 2006 and 2007, with clinical trials for BL-3020 expected to begin during 2008.

Obesity has become an emerging health and economic problem in developed countries. Currently, there are over 60 million obese people in the US alone, and over the past decade, the epidemic has increased by 60%. Obesity increases the risk of illness from over 30 serious medical conditions, including diabetes, cardiovascular disease and high blood pressure, and is associated with increases in deaths from all causes. Global revenue from anti-obesity drugs is forecast to reach $2.5 billion in 2012.

About BioLineRx
BioLineRx is Israel's leading drug development company dedicated to building a robust pipeline of promising therapeutics for unmet medical needs. 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

About Yissum and the Hebrew University of Jerusalem
Yissum is the technology transfer company of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Now in its 43rd year of operation, Yissum has registered over 1,400 patent families over the years, concluded more than 250 licenses and spun out over 50 companies. As a result, $1 Billion worth of products based on Heb

Publisher Contact Information:

BioLineRx, Ltd.
+972-2- 548-9100

Company profile of BioLineRx, Ltd.
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