BiolineRX Ltd. (TASE:BLRX; Nasdaq: BLRX) today reported positive results for its Phase Ia clinical trial of its drug, BL-1021, for the treatment of neuropathic pain. The drug was found to be safe and well tolerated, with no significant changes noted in vital signs, ECG or laboratory safety parameters at any dose when compared with both the baseline measurements and the placebo.
BiolineRX had reported positive interim results on the trial in September. The safety and efficacy clinical trial was conducted at the Hadassah Clinical Research Center in Jerusalem by Prof. Yosef Caraco.
BioLineRx CEO Dr. Kinneret Savitsky said, "This study has clearly demonstrated that BL-1021 is a safe, well-tolerated drug. We have only observed mild, transient, adverse events with similar incidence to those observed in the placebo group. We are very encouraged by these results, which indicate that BL-1021 has potential as an effective treatment for neuropathic pain with minimal side effects and requiring only one daily dose. This could mean new hope for the millions of people around the world suffering from neuropathic pain. We are now evaluating the next steps for BL-1021 from both a scientific and a commercial perspective, including a possible narrowing of the indication."
Neuropathic pain is chronic pain caused by dysfunctional or injured nerves. It is associated with various conditions, including shingles, diabetes and cancer and affects 1-3% of the population. Patients describe the symptoms as burning, stabbing, electric shock, or itching sensations, which can cause extreme discomfort for extended periods of time. Treatments, including antidepressants and anti-seizure medicines, have significant side effects and are not always effective. In 2010, the neuropathic pain market was estimated to be $2.4 billion in the seven major markets (US, Japan, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, and the UK), and it is projected to grow to $4.1 billion in 2018.
BiolineRX's share price closed at $3.18 on Nasdaq yesterday, giving a market cap of $42 million, and rose 9.4% by midday on the TASE today to NIS 1.31.
Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes-online.com - on December 6, 2011
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