Israeli-based clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company BioLineRx has partnered with Roche Group member, Genentech, to conduct several Phase Ib trials of BL-8040 in combination with atezolizumab for multiple cancer indications.
BL-8040 is a short peptide designed to inhibit CXCR4, a chemokine receptor considered responsible for tumour progression, angiogenesis, metastasis and cell survival.
Atezolizumab is a monoclonal antibody that targets and binds to PD-L1 (programmed death ligand-1), a protein expressed on tumour cells and tumour-infiltrating immune cells, thereby preventing its interaction with both PD-1 and B7-1 (CD80) receptors.
Under the partnership, Genentech will sponsor and conduct the Phase Ib trials in multiple solid cancer indications, while BioLineRx will sponsor and conduct a Phase Ib trial in acute myeloid leukemia (AML) patients.
The Phase Ib pen-label, multicentre, single-arm trials studies are intended to examine the clinical response, safety and tolerability of the combination of BL-8040 and Atezolizumab.
BioLineRx chief financial and operating officer Philip Serlin said: "This collaboration agreement in multiple cancer indications with Genentech marks our second collaboration with a world leader in cancer immunotherapy for the combination of BL-8040 with an approved immune checkpoint inhibitor.
"Immune checkpoint inhibitors are a new class of promising drugs that have revolutionised anti-cancer treatment; however, it is becoming clear that certain tumour types will require a combination of immunotherapy with other classes of drugs.
“We are hopeful that the combination of BL-8040 and Atezolizumab will demonstrate the potential to expand the benefit of immunotherapy to cancer types currently resistant to cancer immunotherapy treatments."
After the completion of the studies, both companies will have an option to extend their collaboration for a pivotal registration study.