– Proof-of-concept study is initial step toward goal of identifying more efficient CD34+ HSC mobilization regimen for patients with sickle cell disease choosing gene therapy –

BioLineRx Ltd. (NASDAQ: BLRX) (TASE: BLRX), a commercial stage biopharmaceutical company pursuing life-changing therapies in oncology and rare diseases, today announced that the first patient has been dosed in the Phase 1 clinical trial evaluating motixafortide as monotherapy and in combination with natalizumab for CD34+ hematopoietic stem cell (HSC) mobilization for gene therapies in sickle cell disease (SCD). The proof-of-concept trial, which plans to enroll five patients diagnosed with SCD, is being conducted in collaboration with Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis and will assess the safety and tolerability of the two regimens.

“Stem-cell based gene therapy has delivered significant progress in the treatment of sickle cell disease; however, identifying novel mobilization approaches that safely and reliably secure the necessary stem cell collection numbers is clinically relevant for patients,” said Zachary Crees, MD, principal investigator for the trial, Division of Oncology, Washington University School of Medicine. “This is an exciting area of clinical research with the potential to meaningfully increase patients’ access to stem-cell based gene therapies.”

Approved gene therapies rely on the collection of significant quantities of CD34+ hematopoietic stem cells to enable therapeutic manufacturing and backup storage. However, available mobilization regimens may not reliably yield desired numbers of HSCs for gene therapy, and the common mobilization agent G-CSF is contraindicated in patients with SCD. Difficulties in obtaining target quantities of HSCs may extend patient treatment journeys and increase patient and caregiver burdens.

“The recent FDA approvals of two gene therapies for sickle cell disease in the U.S. is an exciting development for the sickle cell community, and we are eager to advance clinical research of motixafortide that may potentially lead to additional CD34+ hematopoietic stem cell mobilization options in the future for patients with this condition,” said Ella Sorani, PhD, Chief Development Officer at BioLineRx. “We’d like to thank the patients participating in this important collaboration with Washington University who are helping to advance the field’s understanding in this area where there is unmet need.”

Initial data from this study is expected in the second half of 2024. Motixafortide, BioLineRx’s lead therapeutic candidate, was approved by the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) in September 2023, in combination with filgrastim (G-CSF), to mobilize hematopoietic stem cells for collection and subsequent autologous transplantation in patients with multiple myeloma, under the brand name APHEXDA®.

 

About the Clinical Trial of Motixafortide in Sickle Cell Disease (SCD)

The trial (ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier: NCT05618301) is a safety and feasibility study to evaluate motixafortide (CXCR4 inhibitor) as monotherapy and in combination with natalizumab (VLA-4 inhibitor) as novel regimens to mobilize CD34+ hematopoietic stem cells for gene therapies in SCD. The study plans to enroll five adults with a diagnosis of SCD who are receiving automated red blood cell exchanges via apheresis. The trial’s primary objective is to assess the safety and tolerability of motixafortide alone and the combination of motixafortide + natalizumab in SCD patients, defined by dose-limiting toxicities. Secondary objectives include determining the number of CD34+ hematopoietic stem and progenitor cells (HSPCs) mobilized via leukapheresis; and determining the kinetics of CD34+ HSPC mobilization to peripheral blood in response to motixafortide alone and motixafortide + natalizumab in SCD patients.

 

About Sickle Cell Disease

Sickle cell disease (SCD) is one of the most common genetic diseases globally, affecting millions of people throughout the world and disproportionately impacting persons of color. Sickle cell disease arises from mutations in the hemoglobin gene, ultimately leading to the production of abnormally shaped (sickle) red blood cells that tend to stick within blood vessels causing their occlusion. The clinical manifestations of SCD include anemia and blood vessel occlusion which can lead to both acute and chronic pain, as well as tissue ischemia across multiple organ systems (e.g., stroke, heart attack, respiratory failure), ultimately compromising end organ function. The cumulative impact of these complications significantly impacts morbidity and mortality for patients with SCD.

 

About BioLineRx

BioLineRx Ltd. (NASDAQ: BLRX) (TASE: BLRX) is a commercial stage biopharmaceutical company pursuing life-changing therapies in oncology and rare diseases. The company’s first approved product is APHEXDA® (motixafortide) with an indication in the U.S. for stem cell mobilization for autologous transplantation in multiple myeloma. BioLineRx is advancing a pipeline of investigational medicines for patients with sickle cell disease, pancreatic cancer, and other solid tumors. Headquartered in Israel, and with operations in the U.S., the company is driving innovative therapeutics with end-to-end expertise in development and commercialization, ensuring life-changing discoveries move beyond the bench to the bedside.

Source: https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/biolinerx-announces-first-patient-dosed-in-phase-1-clinical-trial-evaluating-motixafortide-for-cd34-hematopoietic-stem-cell-mobilization-for-gene-therapies-in-sickle-cell-disease-302020452.html

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