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Adult Stem Cells Show Positive Results in a Pre-Clinical Study of Ischemic Stroke

CNNMoney.com, April 7, 2008

In its second pre-clinical trial for the treatment of ischemic stroke, Pluristem Therapeutics Inc. has reported statistically significant results in both functional and anatomical improvement in an animal model after the use of one of its products which has been developed specifically for the treatment of stroke. Specializing in the commercialization of therapeutic products developed exclusively from adult mesenchymal stromal cells (MSCs) that are derived from the human placenta, Pluristem has developed a number of PLX (PLacental eXpanded) products, one of which, PLX-Stroke, is directly targeted for the treatment of ischemic stroke.

Using the widely accepted standard animal model for ischemic stroke, namely, hypertensive rats that had undergone middle cerebral arterial occlusion, the scientists systemically injected PLX-Stroke into some of the rats while other rats served as controls. In the rats that had received the PLX-Stroke, subsequent improvement was then observed both in functional paramaters such as the neurological severity scores and beam walking capability, as well as in anatomical parameters such as in the reduction of infarct size. The improvements were statistically significant when compared to the corresponding parameters in the control rats.

This pre-clinical study was conducted at the Fraunhofer Institute for Cell Therapy and Immunology in Leipzig, Germany, a branch of the Fraunhofer Society. According to Professor Frank Emmrich, who led the study, "PLX cells possibly show the potential to become a new treatment for the functional recovery from a stroke. The data show that a double injection of PLX cells at two different time points significantly improves the functional recovery and reduces the size of the lesion compared to the controls." According to the President and CEO of Pluristem, Dr. Zami Aberman, "We are very excited about the results and believe that utilizing our PLX product may successfully treat millions of ischemic stroke patients and lead to a multi-billion dollar market. This independent study, together with the previously announced favorable pre-clinical results of PLX cells to treat limb ischemia and blood cancer, give us a robust pipeline for developing new therapeutic products."

Approximately 90% of all strokes are ischemic, with the remaining 10% being hemorrhagic. Ischemic strokes are the result of an arterial occlusion in the brain, and it is estimated that approximately 2 million people per year throughout the world suffer ischemic strokes, many of whom either die or are rendered permanently disabled from the stroke. Now, adult stem cell studies such as these conducted by Pluristem offer a realistic and viable therapy which actually regenerates damaged neurological tissue.



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