Pluristem stem cells save 3rd bone marrow disease patient

The 45-year old man suffered from bone marrow failure after undergoing chemotherapy and a bone-marrow transplant, due to leukemia.

Pluristem Therapeutics Ltd. (Nasdaq:PSTI; DAX: PJT: PLTR) today announced that its Placental eXpanded (PLX) cell treatment has saved the life of a third bone marrow disease patient. The treatment at Hadassah Medical Center in Jerusalem, was carried out under Israel's compassionate use procedures.

The patient, a 45-year old man with acute myeloid leukemia (AML), a form of blood cancer, underwent chemotherapy and an unrelated bone marrow transplant, because the chemotherapy also kills normal bone marrow cells. However, he suffered from severe and long standing pancytopenia (lack of white blood cells) with associated complications.

Due to the patient's life threatening condition, 144 days after the bone marrow transplantation, PLX cells were twice injected intramuscularly, one week apart. No local or systemic side effects were observed. In addition, the patient's general clinical condition and wellbeing significantly improved, resulting in his release from Hadassah Medical Center.

Pluristem said that the success of the three treatments with its PLX cells may have significant potential to treat a range of indications of bone marrow diseases.

Professor Reuven Or, Director of the Bone Marrow Transplantation and Cancer Immunology at Hadassah Medical Center handled the treatments. He said, "Following three successful treatments, which were conducted for the first time in the world, in Hadassah Medical Center, we can say that PLX cells from the placenta saved the life of patients suffering from bone marrow failure. We are very encouraged by the results and hope that future clinical trials will show the effectiveness of the PLX cells. I believe that the PLX treatment holds huge hope for patients who suffer from different conditions of bone marrow failure and once approved will be available for every patient who needs it.

Pluristem chairman and CEO Zami Aberman said, "In addition to these three patients, we have data to suggest that our PLX cells may be helpful for rescuing both allogeneic as well as autologous bone marrow transplant failures."

Last month, Pluristem filed documents requesting the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to grant orphan drug status for the company’s PLX cells for the treatment of aplastic anemia, a critical hematological emergency which is treated by a bone marrow transplantation. There are 30,000 bone marrow transplants a year in the US alone.

Pluristem's share price rose 8.1% after the announcement by mid-afternoon on the TASE today to NIS 18.19, after rising 2.7% on Nasdaq yesterday to $4.19, giving a market cap of $188 million.

Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes-online.com - on September 5, 2012

© Copyright of Globes Publisher Itonut (1983) Ltd. 2012

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