Palm Beach, FL 5/9/12 (StreetBeat) -- Pluristem Therapeutics, Inc. (Nasdaq:PSTI) today announced that a seven year-old girl suffering from an a plastic bone marrow whose condition was rapidly deteriorating is now experiencing a reversal of her condition with a significant increase in her red cells, white cells and platelets following the intramuscular injection of the company'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.
"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," said Professor Reuven Or, Director ofBone Marrow Transplantation, Cell Therapy and Transplantation Research Center at Hadassah Medical Center and the child's physician. "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, Jerusalem since August 2011. Her aplastic bone marrow had been refractory to treatment and, therefore, she underwent allogeneic stem cell transplantation from a matched unrelated donor. The first transplant was unsuccessful and the patient remained with bone marrow failure. Therefore, the patient underwent a second allogeneic stem cell transplantation from a second donor. Unfortunately, the bone marrow function was very poor and the patient suffered from recurrent infections. Approximately two months after the patient's second bone marrow transplant, the child received PLX cells intramuscularly in two doses approximately one week apart. Approximately 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. Additionally, the patient's general clinical status has 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 is extremely happy that our PLX cells have helped this little girl," said Zami Aberman, Chairman and CEO of Pluristem. "Remarkably, these beneficial effects were seen in the patient after our PLX cells were administered intramuscularly and correlates 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 Professor Reuven Or to contact Pluristem about the possible compassionate use of PLX cells to treat his young patient.
Pluristem recently received U.S. 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). In April, the Company was awarded a $3.1 Million grant by the Israeli Government, which will be used to help fund R&D and clinical trials.
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