Israel to weigh "compassionate use" of Pluristem therapy for COVID-19

JERUSALEM, March 17 (Reuters) - Israel’s Health Ministry has approved a request by Pluristem Therapeutics to seek case-by-case permission for compasstional treatment of COVID-19 patients with its stem cell therapy, the company said on Tuesday.

Pluristem said in a regulatory filing the ministry may now approve proposed treatments for severely ill patients, though it has yet to submit any requests and there is no guarantee the government would approve each case.

The proposed treatment includes intra-muscular administration of the company’s PLX-PAD, which uses cells derived from the placenta, for severe pneumonia resulting from COVID-19 and preventing the deterioration of patients towards Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome (ARDS) and sepsis.

Shares in Pluristem were up 14% in late afternoon trade in Tel Aviv.

Pluristem said it is collaborating with the BIH Center for Regenerative Therapy and the Berlin Center for Advanced Therapies at Charité University of Medicine Berlin to evaluate the effects of PLX cells for the potential treatment ofrespiratory and inflammatory complications associated with COVID-19. (Reporting by Ari Rabinovitch; Editing by Tova Cohen)