Pluristem stem cell therapy saves woman with bone marrow failure

This was the second successful treatment of a patient with bone marrow failure in three months, under Israeli government compassionate use protocols.

The share price of Pluristem Therapeutics Ltd. (Nasdaq:PSTI; DAX: PJT: PLTR) is soaring on the TASE, after the company announced that its placental stem cell therapy, Placental eXpanded (PLX), saved the life of a 54-year old Israeli woman suffering from terminal bone marrow failure. This was the second successful treatment of a patient with bone marrow failure in three months, under compassionate use protocols. The PLX therapy was administered at Hadassah Medical Center in Jerusalem.

The patient, who was diagnosed with lymphoma cancer, failed to respond to chemotherapy and bone marrow transplants. Intermuscular injection of PLX cells improved the woman's clinical condition and blood count, and she was released from the isolation unit and subsequently discharged from the hospital.

"This is a real breakthrough - the woman was in isolation due to low white blood cells and high susceptibility to infections and in addition her red blood cells and platelets were low, leading to a very dangerous and life-threatening situation," said Professor Reuven Or, Director of Bone Marrow Transplantation and Cancer Immunology at Hadassah. "Further, autologous bone marrow transplantation that she received engrafted poorly, and as a last resort, we applied for a compassionate treatment using Pluristem's PLX cells based on our previous experience with those cells. The treatment with PLX has saved her life and can certainly be classified as a medical miracle."

Prof. Or added, "The result of this unique case demonstrates that PLX cells could potentially be effective for use in cancer patients, who receive bone marrow transplantation following severe radiation and chemotherapy treatments, which severely damage their bone marrow."

Pluristem is preparing to apply for Orphan Drug Status for its PLX cells with the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the treatment of aplastic bone marrow. The bone marrow transplant market is an estimated $1.3 billion per year in the US alone, based on 30,000 bone marrow transplants in the US per annum.

In May, Pluristem announced that a seven year-old girl, whose condition was rapidly deteriorating due to an aplastic bone marrow, experienced a reversal of her condition with a significant increase in her red blood cells, white blood cells and blood platelets following the intramuscular injection of the company's PLX cells. The patient has subsequently been released from the hospital and returned home."

Pluristem's share price rose 14.2% by midday on the TASE today to NIS 14.92, following the announcement, after rising 3.4% on Nasdaq on Friday to $3.31, giving a market cap of $148 million.

Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes-online.com - on August 6, 2012

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

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