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Breakthrough Biomaterial For Heart Repair Licensed By Major Drug Co

Breakthrough Biomaterial For Heart Repair Licensed By Major Drug Co

July 8, 2009

Press Releases

NEW YORK, July 8, 2009 — Breakthrough biomaterial developed at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev (BGU) is now 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 breakthrough treatment for preventing pathological cardiac remodeling following acute myocardial infarction (AMI).

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,” commented 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.”

About Ikaria Holdings, Inc.
Ikaria Holdings, Inc. is a biotherapeutics company whose acute care products and therapies address the significant unmet needs of critically ill patients. The company’s lead product, INOmax(R) (nitric oxide) for inhalation, is the only FDA-approved drug for the treatment of hypoxic respiratory failure in term and near-term newborns.

Ikaria is headquartered in Clinton, New Jersey, with research facilities in Seattle, Washington and Madison, Wisconsin and a manufacturing facility in Port Allen, Louisiana. For more information, visit www.ikaria.com.

BioLineRx, a clinical stage drug development company traded on the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange (TASE: BLRX), is dedicated to building a robust pipeline of promising therapeutics for unmet medical needs.

The company’s leading programs are BL-1020 for the treatment of schizophrenia and BL-1040 for the treatment of damaged heart tissue post-acute myocardial infarction. BioLineRx was founded in 2003 by leaders in the Israeli life science arena, including Teva Pharmaceuticals Ltd., and venture capital firms. For more information, visit www.biolinerx.com.

About American Associates, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev

American Associates, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev (AABGU) plays a vital role in sustaining David Ben-Gurion’s vision: creating a world-class institution of education and research in the Israeli desert, nurturing the Negev community and sharing the University’s expertise locally and around the globe. Activities include showcasing BGU’s academic excellence and cutting-edge research through educational programs, events and informative communications. AABGU’s main purpose is to support Ben-Gurion’s vision and the university that bears his name by creating a community of Americans committed to improving the world tomorrow from the heart of the Israeli desert today.

Media Contact:
Andrew Lavin
A. Lavin Communications