The company uses cells from an adult placenta, rather than fetal stem cells, which are the subject of ethical controversy
If there is a technology that comes close to the mythical fountain of youth, it is stem cells. The technology, which is still being researched and undergoing clinical trials for many indications, shows promise in treating everything from cancer to autoimmune diseases to back pain.
Now Israeli company Pluristem Therapeutics Inc., a Haifa-based company that went public in 2003, has raised $17 million from private investors through a shelf prospectus. The company has raised over $100 million on the NASDAQ so far.
The company has gone from milestone to milestone in the last year. This month, Pluristem was granted an Australian patent for growing and using placental stem cells for conditions such as peripheral artery disease, other ischemic and cardiovascular diseases, graft-versus-host disease, organ transplantation, cancer, and autoimmune diseases. Pluristem uses cells derived from an after-birth placenta rather than using fetal stem cells, which are the subject of great ethical controversy.
In May of last year, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration reviewed Pluristem’s comparability studies of its PLacental eXpanded (PLX) cell products and granted approval for the company to manufacture these products in its new commercial-scale cell manufacturing facility in Haifa, Israel. The company has several clinical trials pending.