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GEN News Highlights : May 22, 2007

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

PluriX, bought from Technion and Weizmann, will allow the company to produce up to 1,000 patient doses per placenta at lower costs.

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.