HAIFA, Israel, Sept. 11, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Pluristem Therapeutics Inc. (Nasdaq:PSTI) (TASE:PLTR), a leading developer of placenta-based cell therapies, announced today that the company has completed a major step in its intellectual property strategy: the United States Patent and Trademark Office has granted the Company U.S. Patent 8,529,888. This patent, the 26 th issued to the Company, covers methods for the treatment of peripheral artery disease with placental-derived adherent stromal cells. The treatment for PAD is one of Pluristem's primary drug development areas. Based on priority date, the expected expiration date of this patent is at least until 2028. "This patent is an important milestone in Pluristem's intellectual property strategy and brings us closer to realizing our vision - to become a world leader in developing and manufacturing cell therapy products," said Zami Aberman, Chairman and CEO of Pluristem. "We believe it is a key asset and significantly enhances our competitive position in cell therapy-based therapeutics." About PAD Peripheral artery disease (PAD) is a decrease in blood flow to the lower extremities due primarily from cholesterol plaque blocking the arteries to these limbs. The disease is frequently seen in patients with diabetes and can result in lower extremity ulcers and amputations. Approximately 18 million people in the in the U.S. suffer from PAD with the resultant economic burden estimated to average approximately $200B annually. Current therapeutic methodologies have proven ineffective for many patients with severe PAD and has led to the medical community's call for the development of cell therapies, such as Pluristem's PLX-PAD, as an alternative and potentially cost-effective treatment. About Pluristem's Intellectual Property Approach Pluristem's IP portfolio currently includes 26 issued patents and about 100 worldwide pending patent applications fully owned by the company. Pluristem has developed a four-tier strategy to protect its IP. The base of this tier includes the purchase of the core patent surrounding the company's 3D cell expansion technology initially developed at the Weizmann Institute of Science and the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology. Further patent applications have been filed based on advances in the methods of the 3D expansion of Adherent Stromal cells (ASC) that includes culture methods and conditions. The second tier relates to the Company's filing of "composition-of-matter" patents surrounding the unique PLX cells expanded by the Company's 3D expansion technology based on the cell's source, function, phenotype or other characteristics. The third tier is directed to the filing patent applications surrounding unique instruments and devices invented by Pluristem that are used during the culture of the cells and their eventual administration. The fourth tier consists of the filing of "method of treatment" patents surrounding the application of Pluristem's PLX cells for different indications.