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BioLineRx Ltd. recently announced encouraging results from a phase IIa study on BL-7040. BioLineRx is developing BL-7040 for the treatment of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). Results from the study revealed that BL-7040 was safe and effective in the treatment of ulcerative colitis which is a form of IBD.

In the open-label, proof-of-concept phase II study, 8 patients out of the 16 who completed the five-week course, with a two-week follow-up, met the primary objective of a reduction in the Mayo score between baseline and completion of treatment. The remaining patients showed an even clinical condition or minor improvement.

In Jun 2011, BioLineRx entered into a licencing agreement with Yissum Research Development Company of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem Ltd. for BL-7040.

We note that companies like Warner Chilcott and Shire (SHPG - Analyst Report) also have a presence in the IBD market. BioLineRx mentioned in its press release that annual sales generated from existing drugs for IBD were around $1.8 billion. BioLineRx further stated that 1 in every 500 people around the globe is suffering from IBD. In the US alone there are approximately 1.4 million people suffering from IBD.

We remind investors that the company suffered a pipeline setback last month with disappointing interim results being reported from the phase II/III CLARITY trial of BL-1020, being developed for the treatment of schizophrenia.

However, BioLineRx is trying to recover from the pipeline setback by advancing other candidates in its pipeline. The company recently received approval in the US for the initiation of a phase IIa study on BL-8040 for the treatment of acute myeloid leukemia (AML) and other types of hematological cancers.

BioLineRx, a biopharmaceutical company, presently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). Meanwhile, other biopharma companies like UCB (UCBJF) currently look better-positioned. UCB carries a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy).

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