HAIFA, Israel, Aug. 6, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Pluristem Therapeutics Inc . (Nasdaq:PSTI) (TASE:PLTR) today announced that its wholly owned subsidiary, Pluristem Ltd., has received approval for a 12 million New Israeli Shekels (approximately $3.3 million) grant from the Office of the Chief Scientist (OCS) within the Israeli Ministry of Economy. Once received, the grant will be used to cover R&D expenses for the period January 2013 to December 2013. "We are grateful for the support of the Israeli Office of Chief Scientist, and their leadership in building the biotechnology sector into one of the leading industries in Israel," said Zami Aberman, Chairman and CEO of Pluristem. "This grant helps us to further advance our R&D pipeline and to move new indications into our growing product portfolio clinical trials in the U.S., Israel and Europe. Pluristem's advanced and innovative manufacturing technology enables the mass production of PLX cells in our new facility. This allows Pluristem to support a variety of clinical trials and if and when PLX product candidates are approved for marketing, to supply PLX products to its partners. This competitive advantage is recognized by the OCS who promotes innovation and supports our progress and growth." About the Office of the Chief Scientist and grant terms The OCS, empowered by the Law for the Encouragement of Industrial Research & Development – 1984, oversees all Government sponsored support of R&D in the Israeli hi-tech and bio-tech industries. This broad-spectrum support stimulates the development of innovative state-of-the art technologies, enhances the competitive power of the industry in the global hi-tech market, creates employment opportunities and assists in improving Israel's balance of payments. According to the OCS grant terms, Pluristem Ltd. is required to pay royalties in the rate of 3% - 5% on sales of products and services derived from technology developed using this and other OCS grants until 100% of the dollar-linked grants amount plus interest are repaid. In the absence of such sales, no payment is required.