BIOLINERX BEGINS SCHIZOPHRENIA TREATMENT TRIALS

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Israel-based BioLineRx has launched a series of Phase I clinical trials to test the safety of schizophrenia treatment BL-1020. The trials will be conducted at the Tel Aviv Sourasky Medical Center.

BL-1020 is a small molecule that is taken orally. Preclinical trials have shown that it was as effective as antipsychotic drugs and did not have the side effects associated with schizophrenic treatments -- typically motor problems and obesity.

"There is a clear need for new antipsychotic drugs with increased efficacy and better tolerability," said Michael Davidson, director of the department of psychiatry at Sheba Medical Center, also in Tel Aviv. "The currently available drugs, while effective, have patient compliance issues related to [their] side effect profile. Preclinical studies have shown a very favorable safety profile for BL-1020, while retaining good efficacy."