Novartis acquires 12.8% in Israeli biopharmaceutical company BioLineRX

Swiss pharmaceutical giant Novartis AG yesterday acquired a 12.8-per cent stake in Israeli biopharmaceutical company BioLineRX Ltd, as part of a multi-year strategic collaboration deal designed to facilitate development and commercialisation of three drugs.

NovartisAs part of the agreement, Novartis has made an initial equity investment of $10 million for a 12.8 per cent stake in BioLineRx.

Novartis acquired an initial 5,000,000 American Depositary Shares of BioLineRx in a private transaction at $2 per share for a total investment of $10 million and has agreed to governance rights and certain standstill provisions.

Novartis and BioLineRx will jointly evaluate three clinical and pre-clinical stage projects presented by BioLineRx and will determine which projects to advance further in development and on what terms. Projects at or reaching the clinical stage will be selected by Novartis.

Upon selection of a project, Novartis will pay BioLineRx an option fee of $5 million, as well as fund 50 per cent of the remaining development costs and will have an exclusive right of first negotiation to license from BioLineRx.

Dr. Kinneret Savitsky, CEO of BioLineRx, said, "Recognition by Novartis, the global leader for innovative therapeutics, is a further validation of our drug development capabilities, our business model, and our strong track record of selecting the most promising innovative therapeutic programs stemming from Israel's leading research institutions and biotech start-ups, and developing them towards commercialisation.''

BioLineRx is a publicly-traded, clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company dedicated to identifying, in-licensing and developing promising therapeutic candidates.

The company in-licenses novel compounds primarily from academic institutions and biotech companies based in Israel, develops them through pre-clinical and/or clinical stages, and then partners with pharmaceutical companies for advanced clinical development.