Korea's Cha, Israel's Pluristem in mutual share investment

TEL AVIV Tue Dec 17, 2013 4:06am EST

TEL AVIV Dec 17 (Reuters) - Israel's Pluristem Therapeutics Inc issued 2.5 million shares to South Korea-based Cha Bio&Diostech in return for 1.01 million shares of Cha, reflecting a total investment of $10.4 million.

The share price of $4.16 reflects a 26 percent premium over Monday's closing price for shares in Pluristem, which develops therapies based on placenta-derived stem cells.

In June, the two companies announced a license and strategic partnership agreement for the use of Pluristem's cells in the treatment of peripheral artery disease in South Korea.

"We believe that initiating clinical trials with Cha Bio for indications in the area of peripheral vascular disease opens significant opportunities for Pluristem in South Korea's dynamic regenerative medicine industry," Pluristem Chief Executive Zami Aberman said on Tuesday.

"We also look forward to potentially expanding the use of our PLX cells for other indications with our partner, Cha Bio."

The first clinical study to be performed as part of the agreement will be a Phase II trial, which will run in parallel to the Phase II trial being conducted in the United States, Germany and Israel.

Upon the first regulatory approval for a PLX product in South Korea, Pluristem and Cha Bio will establish a joint venture to commercialise PLX cell products in South Korea.

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