Cell Therapy

Placenta-based Cell Therapy Improves Hematopoietic Transplantation as Reported in Scientific Journal Frontiers in Medicine

Frontiers in Medicine has published key findings from a study of PLX-R18, a cell-based therapy using human placenta, demonstrated the cells’ efficacy in improving human hematopoietic engraftment. The article titled, “Posttransplant Intramuscular Injection of PLX-R18 Mesenchymal-Like Adherent Stromal Cells Improves Human Hematopoietic Engraftment in A Murine Transplant Model” was published in the peer-reviewed journal’s February 2018 issue.

In the published study, mice were injected intramuscularly (IM) with PLX-R18 following human hematopoietic cell transplantation (HCT). Significant improvement was observed in the peripheral blood counts as measured by CD45+ cell recovery at weeks 6 (8.4 vs. 24.1%, p < 0.001) and 8 (7.3 vs. 13.1%, p < 0.05) and in the bone marrow at week 8 (28 vs. 40.0%, p < 0.01) in the PLX-R18 treated groups versus the control, placebo groups. Superiority of PLX-R18 treatment over the control groups was also reported for recovery of CD19+ cells at weeks 6 (12.6 vs. 3.8%) and 8 (10.1 vs. 4.1%). These findings support Pluristem’s clinical development of PLX-R18 for a variety of hematological indications.

The therapy’s developer, Pluristem Therapeutics is currently conducting a Phase I clinical trial in the U.S. and Israel of PLX-R18 to treat incomplete hematopoietic recovery following HCT. HCT is used to treat bone marrow failure associated with cancers of the blood and/or chemotherapy. When HCT fails to fully engraft, it poses dangers to the patient. The Phase I study is evaluating the safety of IM injections of PLX-R18 cells in 24 people with incomplete hematopoietic recovery persisting for at least 4 months following HCT.

Prof. Hillard M. Lazarus, Department of Medicine, Case Western Reserve University, co-author of the article, and Principal Investigator of Pluristem’s Phase I study of PLX-R18 in HCT recovery, commented: “The published preclinical study directly supports the current Phase I study of PLX-R18 in HCT. The preclinical data clearly suggest that PLX-R18 may have a therapeutic role in improving incomplete engraftment following HCT. We hypothesize that PLX-R18 cells’ secreted proteins, cytokines and chemokines are stimulating the marrow microenvironment, leading to improved reproduction of the progenitor cells and increasing peripheral blood counts.”

“Through the publication of this study, we are pleased to add to the growing body of knowledge and data on PLX-R18 cells’ role following IM injection to improve hematopoietic cell engraftment. These data support not only our Phase I study of PLX-R18 in HCT, but may also support current and potential studies of PLX-R18 in a broad range of hematologic indications,” stated Pluristem Chairman and Co-CEO Zami Aberman.