AP News

BioLineRx shares rise on drug patent award

NEW YORK (AP) — Israeli drugmaker BioLineRx said Monday the U.S. Patent Office plans to grant a patent on the company's schizophrenia treatment that would protect the drug for nearly 20 years.

THE SPARK: The United States Patent and Trademark Office issued a notice that a patent on the company's BL-1020 will be valid until 2031. The company has similar patent applications pending in Europe, Japan, India, China and other countries.

THE BIG PICTURE: The company's drug, BL-1020, is an experimental antipsychotic medication being studied as a treatment for schizophrenia. The drug is currently in mid-stage trials, specifically looking at the drug's ability to improve cognitive function in patients with the disease, which causes hallucinations, emotional instability and unclear thinking. The next set of study results from the company is expected in the second half of 2013.

SHARE ACTION: Shares of BioLineRx Ltd., which is based in Jerusalem, rose 23 cents, or 9.9 percent, to $2.55 in midday trading. Over the past year, shares have traded between $2.20 and $6.87.

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