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Biomaterial For Heart Repair Developed

Biomaterial For Heart Repair Developed

November 6, 2009

Medical Research

Breakthrough biomaterial developed at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev is being licensed by a major drug company, Ikaria Holdings, Inc.

Ikaria and BioLineRx Ltd. announced that Ikaria has entered into an agreement to obtain a worldwide exclusive license to BL-1040, a potential treatment for preventing pathological cardiac remodeling following acute myocardial infarction.

Professor Smadar Cohen, chair of the Department of Biotechnology Engineering at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, and Professor Jonathan Leor of Tel Aviv University invented BL-1040. BioLineRx in-licensed the technology in 2005 from BGU through B.G. Negev Technologies and Applications Ltd.

Currently in a phase I/II clinical trial, BL-1040 is an algae-based substance administered through the coronary artery during standard catheterization and flows into the damaged heart muscle, where it forms a protective “scaffold” that enhances the mechanical strength of the heart muscle during recovery and repair.

“The acquisition of the rights to BL-1040 reinforces our commitment to deliver novel treatments to critically ill patients around the world,” said Daniel Tasse, president and chief executive officer of Ikaria.

“Millions of patients suffer from MI each year, and BL-1040 represents the potential of an exciting solution to the problem of ventricular remodeling following AMI, for which the unmet need remains very high.”

Doron Krakow, executive vice president of American Associates, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev said, “Over the years, our donors have watched Prof. Smadar Cohen develop this technology and we couldn’t be more pleased and proud that now it will be shared from the desert for the world.”