TEL AVIV (Reuters) - Israeli biopharmaceutical development firm BioLineRx received a new patent from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office for BL-1020, an experimental schizophrenia treatment.
The patent will be valid at least until 2031, extending the existing patent protection of the product by nine years.
"There is now a significantly longer period of exclusivity to our lead product, which reflects substantial additional progress in its development towards commercialization," Kinneret Savitsky, chief executive of BioLineRx, said on Monday.
"We believe that the market potential for BL-1020 has increased over the past several months, as some larger pharmaceutical companies have reported failures during late-stage clinical trials or have reduced the operations surrounding their schizophrenia therapies due to loss of patent protection."
Almost 1 percent of the world's population suffers from schizophrenia, Savitsky said, adding that BL-1020 has shown to significantly improve cognitive function in schizophrenia patients.
The company is conducting a Phase II/III trial with BL-1020's cognition enhancement as its primary objective. Results are expected in the second half of 2013.
(Reporting by Tova Cohen)
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