July 26, 2012 / 10:01 AM / 7 years ago

Pluristem, NIH to study stem cells to treat radiation syndrome

TEL AVIV, July 26 (Reuters) - Israel-based Pluristem Therapeutics Inc has received an invitation from the U.S. National Institutes of Health to submit its placenta-based stem cells to the agency for evaluation in treating acute radiation syndrome (ARS).

ARS results from exposure to high doses of ionizing radiation from a nuclear event, such as a nuclear power plant accident.

Candidate drug evaluations could include dosing, dose schedule optimisation and efficacy studies and will be performed at contract facilities of the U.S. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), a division of the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

“In addition to developing a treatment for ARS, the data generated from future studies will also be extremely useful in helping us use our PLX cells for other indications, such as the rescue of bone marrow following radiotherapy or chemotherapy,” Zami Aberman, chairman and CEO of Pluristem, said in a statement on Thursday.

NIAID extended the invitation to Pluristem after the company presented animal data demonstrating the efficacy of PLX cells in the treatment of ARS, said Liat Flaishon, product and business development director at Pluristem.

The NIAID conducts and supports research to better understand, treat and prevent infectious, immunologic, and allergic diseases. The NIH is the U.S. government’s primary biomedical research institution.

Chief Financial Officer Yaky Yanai said the financial potential of a radiation treatment would depend on stockpiling needs. If the U.S. government would like to stockpile 1 million doses, this would be a multi billion dollar agreement, he said.

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