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BioLineRx Cancer Drug Positive as Monotherapy in Phase IIa

Zacks Equity Research

BioLineRx Ltd BLRX announced encouraging partial results from the monotherapy portion of a phase IIa COMBAT study, evaluating its lead pipeline candidate, BL-8040 (a CXCR4 antagonist), for treatment of patients with pancreatic cancer.

Shares of BioLineRx have outperformed the industry in a year’s time. The stock has rallied 15.2%, better than the industry’s 10.4% increase.

 

The monotherapy portion of this open-label, multicenter, single-arm COMBAT study is designed to evaluate multiple pharmacodynamic parameters of BL-8040 in this difficult-to-treat patient’s population. Partial data from the study showed that BL-8040 as a monotherapy is safe and well- tolerated in patients with the given indication. Additionally, results showed an increase in the number of T Cells, known to attack the tumor cancer cells in patients with metastatic pancreatic cancer after only five days of monotherapy with BL-8040.

The company said that outcomes from the trial will be presented on Jan 19, 2018 at ASCO 2018 (American Society of Clinical Oncology) Gastrointestinal Cancers Symposium in San Francisco.

Notably, BL-8040 is also being evaluated in combination with Merck’s MRK anti-PD-1 therapy, Keytruda, under the COMBAT study for treatment of patients with pancreatic cancer. Notably, the program is conducted by BioLineRx under a collaboration signed with Merck in early 2016.

Apart from Merck, BioLineRx has a collaboration agreement with Roche Holding’s RHHBY Genentech for the evaluation of BL-8040 in combination with the latter’s Tecentriq (atezolizumab) for multiple solid tumor indications.

We remind investors that in October 2017, BioLineRx and Roche had initiated a phase Ib/II study to evaluate BL-8040 in combination with Roche’s Tecentriq for treating patients with gastric cancer.

Per the data provided by the American Cancer Society, approximately 55,440 patients will be diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in the United States in 2018. The disease in various types is the seventh most common cause of cancer deaths, accounting for about 3% of all cancers. This further indicates huge market potential for the combination therapy.

 

BioLineRx Ltd. Price

BioLineRx Ltd. Price | BioLineRx Ltd. Quote

 

Zacks Rank & Key Pick

BioLineRx carries a Zacks Rank #4 (Sell).

A better-ranked stock in the health care sector is Exelixis, Inc. EXEL, carrying a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.

Exelixis’ earnings per share estimates have been revised upward from 72 cents to 73 cents for 2018 over the last 60 days. The company delivered a positive earnings surprise in each of the trailing four quarters with an average beat of 572.92%. Share price of the company has soared 52.5% in a year’s time.

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