Haifa-based Pluristem Therapeutics Inc. (Nasdaq:PSTI; TASE: PSTI: PSTI) announced last week that four of six Israeli Covid-19 patients treated for a week or more with its PLX stem cells were showing signs of improvement. All the patients in question were on ventilators and were suffering from acute respiratory failure and inflammatory complications associated with Covid-19. Four of the patients also demonstrated failure of other organ systems, including cardiovascular and kidney failure, indicating critical disease and poor prognosis. The rate of recovery among patients in this condition up to now has been around 50%.
A seventh patient treated with Pluristem's product has not yet completed seven day follow up. Three patients are in advanced stages of weaning from ventilators.
Pluristem's share price rose 43.17% in New York on Thursday to $6.97, giving the company a market cap of $124 million. On the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange this morning, Pluristem's share price is up nearly 65%, at NIS 23.67.
The treatment of the seven patients was on a compassionate basis and does not constitute a clinical trial. There is no comparison with a control group of patients. Nevertheless, the outcome so far is encouraging, and Pluristem will continued to offer its treatment under the compassionate use program in Israel.
The company says that, as a next step, it plans to apply for initiation of a multinational regulated clinical trial program for the potential use of PLX cells in the treatment of patients suffering from complications associated with Covid-19. Meanwhile, it does not intend to provide further updates on the status of this program.
"We are pleased with this initial outcome of the compassionate use program, and committed to harnessing PLX cells for the benefit of patients and healthcare systems. In order to maximize PLX cells’ impact on patient recovery and to work towards making our treatment widely available, we plan to quickly move forward into a clinical development program," said Pluristem CEO and president Yaky Yanay.
"Pluristem is dedicated to using its competitive advantages in large-scale manufacturing to potentially deliver PLX cells to a large number of patients in significant need. We believe that research and governmental funding may be available to Pluristem to support the use of PLX cells for patients suffering from Covid-19 and are targeting such funding," Yanay added.
Published by Globes, Israel business news - en.globes.co.il - on April 12, 2020
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