Roth Capital Affirms BioLineRx (BLRX) at 'Buy' Following Q3 Results
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Roth Capital affirms BioLineRx (Nasdaq: BLRX) with a Buy rating and $7 price target following Q3 results reported on Tuesday.
The analyst commented,
We are encouraged by the multiple collaborations initiated between BLRX and biopharma in both clinical and preclinical staged projects, spanning multiple indications.
We believe that BL-8040 remains the lead value driver for BLRX with 1) partial results for the Phase II study of BL-8040 in stem cell mobilization expected in 1Q17 (full data by end of 2017), 2) partial results from the Phase IIa study of BL-8040 in combination with Keytruda in pancreatic cancer in 2H17, and 3) the initiation of Phase Ib studies in various solid tumor cancers with checkpoint inhibitors (either Keytruda or Tecentriq). At ASH, data from correlative studies for the Phase IIa trial of BL-8040 and cytarabine (Ara-C) for relapsed/refractory AML will be presented.
BL-8040 in combination with Ara-c had a composite response rate (CR+Cri) of 38%, which is ~double the response rate of Ara-c alone. In addition BL-8040 monotherapy resulted in1) a 4.3 fold increase in AML blast mobilization from the bone marrow to the bloodstream, and the level of mobilization was correlated to the positive response to treatment, 2) AML blast apoptosis was increased by 40%, and 3) a 2.5 fold induction of granulocytic differentiation of immature leukemia progenitors was observed. Additional data at ASH will show that BL-8040 directly induces apoptosis of AML cells in FLT3-ITD and FLT3-WT AML cells, which is attributed to the up-regulation of microRNAs miR-15a/miR-16-1 resulting in down-regulation of their anti-apoptotic pro survival target genes (BCL-2, MCL-1 and cyclin-D1). In addition, CXCR4 blockade by BL-8040 inhibited survival signals by the ERK/AKT kinases enhancing the apoptosis effect.
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