Pluristem Therapeutics Ltd. (Nasdaq:PSTI; TASE: PLTR; DAX: PJT) and New York University (NYU) Medical Center will collaborate on a preclinical study of the use of Pluristem's proprietary placenta-derived PLX cells for the treatment of diabetic foot ulcers. The National Institutes of Health (NIH) plans to support the study.
The study is the first step toward a potential Phase II clinical trial of the treatment. The study will involve in vitro and a series of animal models to evaluate the role PLX cells have in healing diabetic foot ulcers.
Dr. Weiliam Chen, R.Ph. Ph.D., Director of the Tissue Engineering Research Laboratory, Department of Surgery at NYU's Helen L. and Martin S. Kimmel Wound Healing Center, will be the principal investigator of these pre-clinical studies.
Dr. Chen said, "This partnership with Pluristem is important to developing an innovative advanced cellular therapy. Many diabetic patients have advanced atherosclerosis and have lower extremity vascular insufficiencies. Pluristem's PLX cells can stimulate angiogenesis, which is highly advantageous in treating diabetic chronic wounds. Besides, the PLX cells can directly address cellular impairment in diabetic wounds leading to tissue regeneration in the wound beds."
He added, "Diabetes affects over 170 million people worldwide and more than 20 million Americans with the prevalence expected to double by 2030. Chronic diabetic foot ulcers are the leading cause of lower extremity amputations. No new therapy for diabetic chronic wounds has been introduced into clinical use since 1998 and there is a critical unmet need for innovative therapies able to accelerate diabetic foot ulcer healing, prevent amputation and reduce associated morbidity and mortality."
The Center for Disease Control reports that 12% of diabetics develop a foot ulcer, amounting to 2.5 million patients with foot ulcers in the US alone.
Pluristem chairman and CEO Zami Aberman said, "Our PLX-PAD cells have been shown to be safe and potentially effective and to improve the quality of life in patients with Peripheral Artery Disease, some of whom had suffered from ulcers. We are, therefore, excited about testing the PLX cells' effectiveness in treating diabetic foot ulcer."
Pluristem's share price fell 4.2% on the American Stock Exchange yesterday to $2.29 giving a market cap of $94 million, and fell 4.8% by early afternoon on the TASE today to NIS 7.70.
Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes-online.com - on March 15, 2011
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