Pluristem Therapeutics, Inc. (NASDAQ:PSTI; TASE: PLTR), a leading developer of placenta-based cell therapies, today announced the results of new preclinical tests that show its PLacental eXpanded (PLX) cells may be effective in reducing pulmonary fibrosis and improving lung function in a group of diseases collectively called interstitial lung disease (ILD). ILD includes the pulmonary insults occurring in the lung following its exposure to drugs, radiation or toxic chemicals and the pulmonary complications of systemic autoimmune diseases. More than 200,000 people have been diagnosed with ILD in the United States, and nearly five million people have been diagnosed worldwide. It is estimated that more than 40,000 patients die each year from ILD.
The study was conducted at the University of Alberta in Canada by Principal Investigator Professor Bernard Thebaud, Department of Pediatrics and Department of Physiology, and assessed the preventive therapeutic potential of Pluristem’s PLX cells in pulmonary fibrosis. In this animal model, mice treated with PLX cells showed approximately a 70% statistically significant decrease in collagen protein deposition in the lungs, in comparison to the control treated group.
This significant reduction in collagen deposition, attributed to the PLX treatment, emphasizes the potential of PLX to treat the devastating pathogenic endpoint of pulmonary fibrosis. The effect of PLX on the collagen deposition also resulted in an improved lung capacity as represented by increased weight gain and improved oxygen saturation in the treated mice as compared to the control group.
“The positive results of these tests lead us to believe that we’ve discovered a very significant therapeutic potential in PLX cells for a wide range of pulmonary diseases,” said Zami Aberman, Chairman and CEO of Pluristem. “We will be conducting additional studies to help bring a new cell therapy treatment to market for the benefit of ILD patient around the world.”
About interstitial lung disease
ILD, also known as interstitial pulmonary fibrosis, is a general term that describes more than 100 chronic lung disorders that damage the tissue located between the airs sacs of the lungs, called the interstitium. The disease affects the lungs in three ways: (1) The lung tissue is damaged; (2) the interstitium becomes inflamed; and (3) fibrosis (scarring) begins in the alveoli (air sacs) and interstitium, and the lung becomes stiff, making it difficult to breathe.
Lung scarring is irreversible. Corticosteroid drugs, the most common treatment, can sometimes slow the damage of ILD. However, many patients never regain full use of their lungs. While most cases of ILD develop gradually with few warning signs, it may develop suddenly in some patients. In some cases of ILD the cause can be identified; however, most cases are idiopathic (have no known cause). More than 200,000 people have been diagnosed with ILD in the United States, and nearly five million people have been diagnosed worldwide. It is estimated that more than 40,000 patients die each year from ILD worldwide.
Source: Pluristem Therapeutics