Pluristem Therapeutics Ltd. (Nasdaq:PSTI; DAX: PJT: PLTR) reports positive results in preclinical test of its PLacental eXpanded (PLX) cells for the treatment of pulmonary fibrosis. It found reduced pulmonary fibrosis (scarring of the lung tissue) and improving lung function in a group of diseases collectively called interstitial lung disease (ILD).
The study at the University of Alberta in Canada by principal investigator Professor Bernard Thebaud assessed the preventive therapeutic potential of Pluristem's PLX cells in pulmonary fibrosis. Mice treated with PLX cells showed a 70% statistically significant decrease in collagen protein deposition in the lungs, compared with the control group. This reduction, attributed to the PLX treatment, emphasizes its potential to treat the pathogenic endpoint of pulmonary fibrosis. The treatment also improved lung capacity, represented by greater weight gain and improved oxygen saturation in the treated mice compared with the control group.
Pluristem chairman and CEO Zami Aberman said, "The positive results of these tests lead us to believe that we've discovered a very significant therapeutic potential in PLX cells for a wide range of pulmonary diseases. We will be conducting additional studies to help bring a new cell therapy treatment to market."
ILD, also known as interstitial pulmonary fibrosis (scarring), is a general term that describes more than 100 chronic lung disorders that damage the tissue located between the airs sacs of the lungs, called the interstitium. Pulmonary fibrosis is caused by the lungs' exposure drugs, radiation or toxic chemicals and the pulmonary complications of systemic autoimmune diseases. More than 200,000 people have been diagnosed with ILD in the US, and nearly five million people have been diagnosed worldwide. It is estimated that more than 40,000 patients die each year from ILD.
Pluristem's share price rose 1% by mid-afternoon on the TASE today to NIS 14, after falling 2.9% on Nasdaq yesterday to $3.33, giving a market cap of $149 million.
Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes-online.com - on July 31, 2012
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