BioLineRx licenses BGU-developed post-heart attack treatment

Ben Gurion Univeristy of the Negev researchers have developed an injectible scaffold that reduces damage after cardiac arrest.

Specialized drug development company BioLineRx today announced that it has signed an in-license agreement for the development of BL-1040, an injectible scaffold that reduces cardiac damage after heart attack.

BioLineRx CEO Dr. Morris C. Laster said, "We believe this new technology developed by Ben Gurion Univeristy of the Negev (BGU) researchers represents a breakthrough for the treatment of patients that have undergone heart attacks by regenerating cardiac tissue."

BioLineRx plans to develop the project through BioLine Innovations Jerusalem and to submit the project for funding by the Office of the Chief Scientist under the national biotechnology grant that BioLineRx received in November of this year.

The novel material, developed by Prof. Smadar Cohen and Prof. Jonathan Leor from BGU's department of biotech and biomedical engineering is a biodegradable polymer that is injected directly into the area damaged by the heart attack. Within minutes, the material intercalates between the cells and fibers of the heart and rapidly forms a scaffold. This scaffold enhances the mechanical strength of the heart muscle during recovery and repair, reduces the size of the scar after the heart attack, and may stimulate the growth of new blood vessels and encourage cardiac regeneration. In experimental heart attack models, the polymer has been shown to improve outcome, resulting in reduced cardiac dysfunction and reduced mortality.

BioLineRx stated that it requires an investment of approximately $9 million in order to achieve clinical proof of safety and efficacy.

According to BGU president Prof. Avishay Braverman, "The university sees its mission to use science and technology to bring employment - particularly in the hi-tech fields - to the periphery. We continue to be leaders in research and development despite the very serious cuts to our R&D budget."

The worldwide exclusive license agreement was signed with Ben Gurion Univeristy of the Negev through its business company BGN Technologies.

Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - - on Wednesday, January 19, 2005

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