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Pluristem's PLX Cells Demonstrate Efficacy In Preclinical Study For Graft Versus Host Disease

Both Intramuscular and Intravenous Administrations Show Statistically Significant Improvement Clinical Path Being Investigated With Leading Medical Institutions

HAIFA, Israel, Oct. 1, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Pluristem Therapeutics Inc. (Nasdaq:PSTI) (TASE:PLTR), a leading developer of placenta-based cell therapies, announced today that the company's PLacental eXpanded (PLX) cells demonstrated efficacy in a preliminary animal experiment for the treatment of Graft versus Host Disease (GvHD) following bone marrow transplantation (BMT). The results showed that PLX cells, regardless of their administration route, intravenous (IV) or intramuscular (IM), demonstrated a statistically significant improvement (p < 0.05) in the GvHD score. Following interest from leading medical institutions, Pluristem is investigating a potential cooperation to bring this indication to a clinical trial.

GvHD may occur after BMT when patients receive bone marrow tissue or cells from a donor and these newly transplanted cells regard the recipient's body as foreign, attacking the recipient's body. The global incidence of acute GvHD ranges from 26% to 34% in recipients of fully matched sibling donor grafts, to 42% to 52% in recipients of matched unrelated donor grafts.

The animal study was conducted in the laboratories of the Department of Bone Marrow Transplantation, Hadassah Medical Center, the Hebrew University, Jerusalem.

In the study, mice underwent total body irradiation and after twenty-four hours received a semi-allogeneic BMT. PLX cells, or the same volumes of the control vehicle, were then injected IV or IM into the mice concurrently with the BMT (day 0, ~20h after irradiation) and 5 days post-irradiation. PLX markedly reduced the GvHD score, comprised of weight loss, diarrhea, skin and fur integrity and survival. This significant (p < 0.05) reduction in the GvHD score occurred in both the IV and IM treatment groups 42 days after transplantation. Moreover, histological examination of the liver revealed reduced hepatic lymphocyte infiltration, a marker for the severity of GvHD occurring in the PLX-treated groups without preference to the route of administration.

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