Pluristem Therapeutics, Inc., which specializes in the commercialization of adult stem cell therapy products for the treatment of degenerative, ischemic and autoimmune diseases, has demonstrated success in an animal model with a product that it has developed specifically for the treatment of multiple sclerosis (MS). Known as PLX-MS, for “PLacental eXpanded” cells, this product, which is derived entirely from adult stem cells, has proven to be effective in vivo. Specifically, mice that received PLX-MS did not develop clinical symptoms associated with MS when compared with control mice, for the entirety of the 35-day study. PLX cells are mesenchymal stromal cells that are derived from placental blood and then expanded under Pluristem’s proprietary technology.
According to Zami Aberman, president and CEO of Pluristem, “This trial’s remarkable results demonstrated our PLX-MS cells’ ability to prevent the appearance of multiple sclerosis symptoms and showed the potential for our PLX cells to treat global autoimmune diseases. As a cellular therapy, our PLX cells, which are derived from human placenta, a non-controversial, non-embryonic, adult stem cell source, and stored ready-to-use, could prove to be a readily available preventive therapeutic alternative for these disorders.”
The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that approximately 2.5 million people throughout the world suffer from multiple sclerosis, which is an autoimmune, demyelinating disease of the central nervous system for which there has previously been no cure, and only limited therapies available prior to the advent of stem cell technology. At its current level, the global market for MS treatments has been estimated at approximately $5.4 billion per year, although this figure is expected to rise based upon epidemiological projections.