Thursday, April 17, 2008
Pluristem's PLX Cells Show a Statistically Significant Advantage in a Pre-Clinical Study in the Multiple Sclerosis Model
2008-04-14 20:16:34 -
Pluristem Therapeutics Inc. (NASDAQ:PSTI) (DAX:PJT) a bio-therapeutics company dedicated to the commercialization of non-personalized (allogeneic) cell therapy products for a variety of degenerative, ischemic and autoimmune indications, announced today that a preclinical study utilizing the Company's PLacental eXpanded (PLX) cells showed a statistically significant advantage in ameliorating functional deficiencies in a standard Multiple Sclerosis (MS) animal model. PLX cells are mesenchymal stromal cells (MSCs) obtained from the placenta and expanded using Pluristem's proprietary 3D PluriX(TM) technology.
Researchers at Pluristem utilized the Experimental Autoimmune Encephalitis (EAE) animal model for the study, the paradigm for MS in humans. After EAE was induced, a number of the animals were given PLX cells intravenously while the remaining served as a control. There was a significant reduction in the EAE score in those animals given PLX cells versus the control group and this beneficial effect was seen throughout the 25-day duration of the study. The EAE score is a measurement of functional outcomes in the EAE-afflicted animal and correlates closely with a histological improvement in EAE-induced lesions. Additionally, the beneficial effects were similar to when Zappia et. al. used MSCs that were non-placental in origin in this EAE animal model(1).
Zami Aberman, Pluristem's President and CEO said: "We are very excited that our PLX cells were able to demonstrate beneficial results that are statistically significant in this standardized model for Multiple Sclerosis. These results, in addition to our previously announced PLX STROKE results, demonstrate that PLX cells may be useful in the treatment of central nervous system (CNS) disorders and potentially help millions of people. Additionally, we believe this experiment demonstrates we can potentially utilize our off-the-shelf, easy to obtain PLX cells and achieve results that are as good as or better than MSCs obtained from other more difficult to find sources."
(1)Zappia et. al. Mesenchymal stem cells ameliorate experimental autoimmune encephalitis inducing T cell anergy. Blood. 2005;106: 1755-1761
About Multiple Sclerosis (MS)
Multiple sclerosis (MS), also known as disseminated sclerosis or encephalomyelitis disseminate, is an autoimmune condition in which the immune system attacks the central nervous system (CNS), leading to demyelination. Myelin is the insulating sheath that surrounds nerve cells (neurons). MS may cause numerous physical and mental symptoms, and often progresses to physical and cognitive disability. The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that over 2.5 million people globally suffer from MS, which represents a current market of approximately $5.4 billion for disease-modifying agents to treat the disorder.
Pluristem Therapeutics Inc. is a bio-therapeutics company dedicated to the commercialization of non-personalized (allogeneic) cell therapy products for the treatment of several severe degenerative, ischemic and autoimmune disorders. The Company is developing a pipeline of products, stored ready-to-use, that are derived from the human placenta, a non-controversial, non-embryonic, adult stem cell source.
These placental mesenchymal stromal cells (MSCs) are expanded in the Company's proprietary PluriX(TM) 3D bioreactor, which imitates the natural microstructure of bone marrow and does not require supplemental growth factors or other exogenous materials. Pluristem believes the resultant PLX (PLacental eXpanded) cells are multi-potent and able to differentiate into a variety of cell types. Recent evidence also suggests their efficacy may be related to the secretion of cytokines or other potent immune modulators. Furthermore, PLX cells are immune privileged and have immunomodulatory properties, thus protecting the recipient from immunological reactions that often accompany transplantations.
Pluristem's first product, PLX-PAD, is intended to improve the quality of life of millions of people suffering from peripheral artery disease (PAD). The Company's PLX-I product is intended to resolve the global shortfall of matched tissue for bone marrow transplantation (BMT) by improving the engraftment of hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs) contained in umbilical cord blood (UCB). PLX-STROKE shows potential to become a new treatment for the functional recovery from an ischemic stroke.
Pluristem has offices in the USA with research and manufacturing facilities in Israel. www.pluristem.com
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Safe Harbor Statement
This press release contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of the "safe harbor" provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 and federal securities laws. These forward-looking statements are based on the current expectations of the management of Pluristem only, and are subject to a number of factors and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those described in the forward-looking statements. For example, when we say that the Company's PLacental eXpanded (PLX) cells showed a statistically significant advantage in ameliorating functional deficiencies in a standard Multiple Sclerosis (MS) animal model; that these results, in addition to our previously announced PLX STROKE results, demonstrate that PLX cells may be useful in the treatment of central nervous system (CNS) disorders and potentially help millions of people; that we believe this experiment demonstrates we can potentially utilize our off-the-shelf, easy to obtain PLX cells and achieve results that are as good as or better than MSCs obtained from other more difficult to find sources, we are using forward looking statements. The following factors, among others, could cause actual results to differ materially from those described in the forward-looking statements: changes in technology and market requirements; our technology may not be validated as we progress further and our methods may not be accepted by the scientific community; we may be unable to retain or attract key employees whose knowledge is essential to the development of our products; unforeseen scientific difficulties may develop with our process; results in the laboratory may not translate to equally good results in real surgical settings; our patents may not be sufficient; our products may harm recipients; changes in legislation; inability to timely develop and introduce new technologies, products and applications; loss of market share and pressure on pricing resulting from competition, which could cause the actual results or performance of Pluristem to differ materially from those contemplated in such forward-looking statements. Except as otherwise required by law, Pluristem undertakes no obligation to publicly release any revisions to these forward-looking statements to reflect events or circumstances after the date hereof or to reflect the occurrence of unanticipated events. For a more detailed description of the risk and uncertainties affecting Pluristem, reference is made to Pluristem's reports filed from time to time with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
Pluristem Therapeutics Inc.
William Prather RPh, MD, Sr. VP Corporate Development