Pluristem study finds stem cells can treat radiation sickness

Preliminary results found that placental stem cells boosted survival rates of irradiated animals four-fold.

Pluristem Therapeutics Ltd. (Nasdaq:PSTI; PLTR) says that initial animal studies found that its placental stem cells can treat Acute radiation syndrome (ARS).

In the study, animals exposed to lethal doses of radiation, were injected the following day with either PLacental eXpanded (PLX) cells or a placebo containing no cells. Nine days following treatment with the PLX cells, the animals' bone marrow and spleen were examined for signs of hematopoietic (blood forming) tissue. On day 23, bone marrow and blood samples were examined in the surviving animals. Overall survival and body weight changes were also monitored.

The study found that irradiated animals treated with the PLX cells had a survival rate almost four times the survival rate of animals given the placebo. They also showed an increase in red cell count, higher hemoglobin and hematocrit (volume of red blood cells), and weight regain,

"Following preclinical studies using Pluristem's placental derived cells, we found that these placenta cells have the ability to potentially increase the survival rate of animals following exposure to lethal doses of total body irradiation," said lead investigator Prof. Raphael Gorodetsky of the Biotechnology and Radiobiology Laboratory at the Sharett Institute of Oncology at Hadassah, Hebrew University Medical Center. "These findings substantially strengthen the hypothesis that Pluristem's placenta-derived cells could potentially be used to reduce complications associated with life threatening ARS."

Pluristem chairman and CEO Zami Aberman said, "PLX cells as a sole treatment may potentially enhance the survival of lethally irradiated individuals."

Pluristem's share price rose 7.1% on the TASE following the announcement to NIS 9.44, and rose 7.8% in premarket trading in New York to 2.60, giving a market cap of $100 million, recovering all of yesterday's losses.

Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes-online.com - on September 7, 2011

© Copyright of Globes Publisher Itonut (1983) Ltd. 2011

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