BioLineRx licenses Hepatitis C drug to Chinese co

Drug development company BioLineRx Ltd. (Nasdaq: BLRX); TASE:BLRX) announced today that it has signed an out-licensing agreement with Jiangsu Chia-tai Tianqing Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd. (CTTQ), the leading Chinese pharmaceutical company in the liver disease therapeutic area, for the development and commercialization of BL-8030, an oral treatment for the Hepatitis C virus (HCV).

Under the terms of the agreement, BioLineRx will grant CTTQ exclusive rights to develop, manufacture and commercialize BL-8030 in China and Hong Kong. CTTQ will pay BioLineRx an upfront license fee, plus future development, regulatory and commercialization milestones, for a total potential deal value of $30 million.

BioLineRx also has the right to receive high single-digit royalties on future sales of the drug, and will retain the right to develop and commercialize BL-8030 in other parts of the world. CTTQ will adhere to US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and European Medical Association (EMA) guidelines in pre-clinical development and manufacturing of BL-8030. BioLineRx will have access to all development and regulatory data generated by CTTQ, as well as the right to use this data for commercialization and regulatory purposes in all areas of the world outside of China and Hong Kong.

BioLineRx CEO Kinneret Savitsky said, "We believe that given CTTQ's extensive experience in the liver disease area, it will swiftly advance the development of BL-8030 at the highest global standards. In parallel to collaborating with CTTQ to advance the drug, we intend to continue discussions with relevant partners for this project in other parts of the world."

CTTQ president Jian Sun Emba said, "Unfortunately, the prevalence of HCV is relatively significant in China, with reports of 3.2% of the population (amounting to about 43 million individuals) suffering from this chronic and debilitating disease. Thus there is a clear and urgent need to develop new, safe and effective treatments for HCV patients in China."

The company's share price rose 10.65% on the TASE this afternoon to NIS 6.70, and closed yesterday on Nasdaq at $1.65, giving a market cap of $36.72 million.