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Pluristem Initiates Trial in South Korea

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Pluristem Therapeutics Inc. (PSTI) announced that it has initiated a phase II trial in South Korea to evaluate PLacental eXpanded (PLX) cells for the treatment of intermittent claudication (IC.V).

The study is being conducted by partner CHA Bio & Diostech.

We note that CHA Bio & Diostech has an exclusive licensing agreement with Pluristem to evaluate PLX cells for peripheral artery disease (PAD.V) in South Korea.

As per the terms of the agreement, both Pluristem and CHA will enter into a joint venture to share the revenues and income generated through sales of PLX cell therapies in the South Korean market if and when a candidate receives approval in South Korea.

We remind investors that Pluristem received approval from the South Korean Ministry of Food and Drug Safety to conduct trials in South Korea evaluating the use PLX cells in May 2014.

Meanwhile, trials on PLX cells for the treatment of IC are ongoing in the U.S., Germany and Israel.

Pluristem develops placenta-based cell therapies in collaboration with companies like United Therapeutics (UTHR) or through research and clinical institutions. The cells from placenta, known as PLX cells, are derived using the company’s proprietary PluriX therapy.

Celgene Cellular Therapeutics, a wholly owned subsidiary of Celgene Corp. (CELG), is also doing research on stem cells derived from the human placenta as well as from the umbilical cord for the treatment of different diseases.

Pluristem currently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). Investors looking for better-ranked stocks in the broader healthcare sector might consider Actelion (ALIOF), carrying a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy).

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