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PSTI Plans to Start Phase I Study

Zacks Equity Research

Pluristem Therapeutics Inc. (PSTI) recently announced its intention to commence a phase I study that will evaluate the safety and efficacy of the local administration of PLacental eXpanded (PLX) cells to patients suffering from tendon injuries.

The randomized, double blind, placebo-controlled study will be conducted as a part of the company’s plan to expand its presence in the orthopedic and sports medicine markets.

As per the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons, about 200,000 Americans require surgery related to repair of the rotator cuff every year.

We note that Pluristem is conducting a phase I/II study evaluating the safety and efficacy of its PLX cells in the treatment of muscle injury. Safety is the primary endpoint of the study while the secondary endpoint is the gluteal muscle function after six months.

A positive outcome from this study will enable Pluristem to further evaluate the potential of PLX cells for this indication along with other non-surgical injuries such as sports injuries.

Pluristem develops placenta-based cell therapies. The cells from placenta are derived using the company’s proprietary PluriX therapy. PluriX cells are a drug delivery platform that releases a number of therapeutic proteins in response to various local and systemic inflammatory and ischemic diseases.

Pluristem’s first product in development, PLX-PAD, is intended to treat peripheral artery disease (:PAD).

Pluristem develops and manufactures cell therapy products in collaboration with companies like United Therapeutics (UTHR) or through research and clinical institutions.

Pluristem carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). Currently, companies like Vertex Pharmaceuticals Incorporated (VRTX) and Transcept Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (TSPT) look more attractive with a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy).

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