BioLineRx, a biopharmaceutical development company, announced recently the issuance of a notice of allowance from the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) for BL-8020, an orally available, interferon-free treatment for hepatitis C (HCV). The patent is valid through at least 2031 and covers the use of BL-8020 for treating HCV-infected patients who are non-responsive to an anti-HCV therapy.
Dr. Kinneret Savitsky, Chief Executive Officer of BioLineRx, stated,
“…This is an important milestone in the development of this promising drug candidate,”
Hepatitis C is an infection of the liver. Transmitted through blood, HCV can go undetected for decades before symptoms start to show. Seventy-five to eighty-five percent of people infected with HCV will develop chronic infection. According to Dr. Savitsky current treatments are not tolerated well by patients and are rather lengthy, creating the need for therapeutics that can increase the efficacy of existing treatments.
BL-8020 is a combination treatment that targets the infected host cells and inhibits HCV induced autophagy in the host. In clinical test BL-8020 showed positive results in its potential to increase the potency of other treatments, thereby, reducing the adverse effects commonly experienced with traditional therapies.
With the issuance of a notice of allowance, BioLineRx has clearly shown the uniqueness of its HCV treatment. Having come near the end of the lengthy patent process and entering the final stages of testing, it may not be long before BL-8020 is common practice for patients with hepatitis C.
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