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Projects Promote Use of Placental Cells in Bone Marrow Disorder Therapeutics

By Labmedica International staff writers
Posted on 06 Mar 2016
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Image: Pluristem technicians produce PLacental eXpanded (PLX) cells in the company's state-of-the-art facility (Photo courtesy of Pluristem Therapeutics).
Image: Pluristem technicians produce PLacental eXpanded (PLX) cells in the company's state-of-the-art facility (Photo courtesy of Pluristem Therapeutics).
An Israeli biotechnology company will be collaborating with Japanese researchers and American health authorities to complete development of a novel cell-based therapeutic approach for treatment of Acute Radiation Syndrome (ARS) and other conditions that prevent the bone marrow from making new blood cells.

The Israeli biotechnology company Pluristem Therapeutics (Haifa, Israel) utilizes placental cells obtained following scheduled caesarean section births. These cells are expanded in the company's state-of-the-art manufacturing facility following current Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP) in proprietary bioreactor systems that create a three-dimensional microenvironment. This three-dimensional technology allows for the controlled, large-scale growth of cells implementing an optimized, standardized, scaled-up, and fully automated operation. This process enables mass-production of PLacental eXpanded (PLX) cells with batch-to-batch consistency for a fraction of the cost of traditionally expanding cells using culture dishes.

Pluristem recently announced that the [US] National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (Bethesda, MD, USA) was set to begin studies in large animals to establish dosing protocols for Pluristem’s PLX-R18 cells as a medical counter measure in the treatment of the hematological components of ARS. PLX-R18 is Pluristem’s second cell therapy product in development. It is designed to treat bone marrow that is unable to produce enough blood cells due to a variety of causes including ARS, certain cancers or cancer treatments, or immune-mediated bone marrow failure. A recent study showed that administration of PLX-R18 resulted in a statistically significant improvement in the recovery of white blood cell, red blood cell, and platelet levels in animals exposed to high levels of radiation.

In addition to the American project, Plutistem has signed a memorandum of understanding with Fukushima Medical University (Japan) to develop PLX-R18 for the treatment of ARS and for morbidities following radiotherapy in cancer patients.

“We are very pleased to receive the support and collaboration of the NIH ([US] National Institutes of Health) for the development of PLX-R18 as a medical countermeasure in the treatment of ARS, which is the first indication we are targeting in the defense technology space,” said Zami Aberman, chairman and CEO of Pluristem Therapeutics.

Related Links:

Pluristem Therapeutics
[US] National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases
Fukushima Medical University

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