REFILE-Pluristem, Cha forge partnership for Korean market

Wed Jun 26, 2013 4:27am EDT

JERUSALEM, June 26 (Reuters) - Israel's Pluristem Therapeutics Inc said it entered a partnership with Cha Bio&Diostech for the use of Pluristem's cells to treat peripheral artery disease (PAD) in South Korea.

Under the agreement, Cha will perform and fund clinical trials for treating critical limb ischemia and intermediate claudication using Pluristem's PLX cells under the supervision of Korea's Food & Drug Administration, Pluristem said on Wednesday.

After the first regulatory approval for a PLX product in South Korea, Pluristem and Cha will establish a joint venture co-owned by the both firms. The purpose of the venture will be to commercialize PLX cell products in South Korea, said Pluristem, which develops therapies based on placenta-derived stem cells.

It noted that according to market research firm Clearstate, 1 million people in South Korea have PAD and the growth forecast for the number of people diagnosed and treated in the country is moderate-to-high.

Pluristem said it will continue to retain rights to its manufacturing technology and cell-related intellectual property. It will be able to use the data generated by Cha to pursue the development of PLX products outside of South Korea.

When certain milestones are met, expected by September 2013, Pluristem will issue to Cha 2.5 million shares of its common stock in consideration for the issuance to Pluristem of 1.01 million shares of Cha.

This reflects a total consideration of $10 million for the Pluristem shares or $4 per share, compared with Tuesday's close of $3.