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May 22, 2007

Pluristem Buys Patents Covering Stem Cell Production Tool for $2M

  • Pluristem Life Systems purchased patents for a stem cell production technology from the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology and the Weizmann Institute of Science for approximately $2 million. These patents replace a previous license agreement between the three organizations in which  Pluristem had exclusive rights to the technology in exchange for royalties.

    “We intend to develop this technology platform into a functional stem cell production system for the treatment of a variety of indications; the first being a safe, effective, and efficient alternative to bone marrow transplantation,” according to Pluristem chairman and CEO, Zami Aberman.

    The technology covered under the agreement pertains to a 3-D bioreactor system known as PluriX™. This technology creates an environment similar to natural bone marrow and enhances the expansion of mesenchymal stem cells that are obtained from the placenta, termed Placental eXpanded (PLX) cells, Aberman explains. These resulting stromal cells are allogeneic and will not require HLA matching when used in transplant therapies, he adds.

    Using PluriX, Pluristem estimates that they can produce up to 1,000 patient doses per placenta at a significantly lower cost than current methods.

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Scientifically Studying Ecstasy

MDMA (commonly known as the empathogen “ecstasy”) is classified as a Schedule 1 drug, which is reserved for compounds with no accepted medical use and a high abuse potential. Two researchers from Stanford, however, call for a rigorous scientific exploration of MDMA's effects to identify precisely how the drug works, the data from which could be used to develop therapeutic compounds.

Do you agree that ecstasy should be studied for its potential therapeutic benefits?

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