Pluristem stem cells save girl's life

Prof. Or: The results of this unique case indicate that PLX cells may be effective in treating other diseases that affect the bone marrow.

Pluristem Therapeutics Ltd. (Nasdaq:PSTI; DAX: PJT: PLTR)has announced that a seven year-old girl suffering from an aplastic bone marrow whose condition was rapidly deteriorating has seen a reversal of her condition. The improvement came due to a significant increase in her red cells, white cells and platelets following the intramuscular injection of Pluristem's PLacental eXpanded (PLX) cells. Aplastic bone marrow is a disease where the patient has no blood-forming hematopoietic stem cells in the bone marrow.

Hadassah Medical Center Bone Marrow Transplantation, Cell Therapy and Transplantation Research Center director Prof. Reuven Or said, "With her body rejecting all possible treatment, and with no other options, we finally turned to Pluristem's PLX cells, which literally saved her life. The results of this unique case indicate that PLX cells may be effective in treating other diseases that affect the bone marrow."

The patient has been hospitalized at the Hadassah Hebrew University Medical Center in Jerusalem since August 2011. Her aplastic bone marrow had been refractory to treatment. So she underwent allogeneic stem cell transplantation from a matched unrelated donor. The first transplant was unsuccessful and the patient remained with bone marrow failure. The patient underwent a second allogeneic stem cell transplantation from a second donor. The bone marrow function was very poor and the patient suffered from recurrent infections.

Two months after the patient's second bone marrow transplant, the child received PLX cells intramuscularly in two doses about one week apart. Some 10 days after the last administration of PLX cells, the patient's hematological parameters began to significantly increase, an effect that has persisted to date. The patient's general clinical status has also improved. Subsequent analysis has indicated that the PLX cells worked by stimulating the recovery of the hematopoietic stem cells contained in the second bone marrow transplant that she had received over two months earlier. Finally, after nine months of hospitalization, the child will be discharged from the hospital.

Pluristem chairman and CEO Zami Alberman said, "Pluristem is extremely happy that our PLX cells have helped this little girl. Remarkably, these beneficial effects were seen in the patient after our PLX cells were administered intramuscularly and correlate with the positive effects on the bone marrow when we administered our PLX cells intramuscularly (IM) in animals exposed to toxic levels of radiation. Pluristem now has several data points to indicate that our PLX cells may work for systemic diseases when given locally, away from the target organ, and without a need to give cells intravenously."

In February 2012, Pluristem announced the results of animal studies suggesting PLX cells can be potentially effective in treating the life threatening hematopoietic complications associated with Acute Radiation Syndrome (ARS). In these experiments, animals given PLX cells IM up to 24 hours post irradiation demonstrated a recovery of their red cells, white cells, platelets and bone marrow to almost normal levels. It was that announcement, and the significant deterioration of the patient following two bone marrow transplants, that led Prof. Or to contact Pluristem about the possible compassionate use of PLX cells to treat his young patient.

Pluristem recently received US FDA clearance to begin a Phase II clinical trial using the company's proprietary PLX-PAD cell product candidate intramuscularly for the treatment of Intermittent Claudication (IC), a subset of peripheral artery disease (PAD).

Published by Globes, Israel business news - www.globes-online.com - on May 9, 2012

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

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