Newswise — For an organ that only functions for nine months, the placenta has been taking the science world by storm. One company that is banking on the therapeutic powers of the placenta is Haifa, Israel-based Pluristem Therapeutics, a key player in the regenerative medicine space. Pluristem takes cells from human placentas that are donated at the time of delivery, and expands and modifies them using proprietary 3-dimensional technology and specially designed bioreactors.
The therapeutic cells, coined PLX cells, are designed to be injected into muscle, secrete a range of therapeutic proteins, and then wash out of the body, and do not require any tissue matching. Pluristem’s first cell type, currently in trials, secretes proteins which could potentially treat certain cardiovascular and lung diseases, muscle injuries and severe preeclampsia, a disease of pregnancy that is one of the leading known causes of maternal death.
Pluristem is now delving into the areas of oncology, bone marrow transplant and even acute radiation syndrome by developing its second product, PLX-R18. Dr. Karine Kleinhaus highlights the future impact of cell therapy and of PLX-R18 trials underway in 2015.
About Pluristem Therapeutics Inc. Pluristem Therapeutics Inc. is a clinical-stage biotechnology company using placental cells and a unique, proprietary, three-dimensional (3D) technology platform to develop cell therapies for a broad spectrum of diseases. Pluristem derives its cell products from human placental cells. These cells are converted into PLacental eXpanded (PLX) cells, which secrete therapeutic proteins in response to signals produced by damaged tissues. Pluristem’s pipeline targets multiple indications involving inflammation and ischemia, including peripheral artery disease, muscle injury, preeclampsia, and graft versus host disease. PLX cells require no tissue matching prior to administration, making them an “off-the-shelf” product. The company’s GMP-certified in-house manufacturing facilities allow it to efficiently produce commercial quantities of homogeneous, clinical-grade PLX cells. Pluristem is currently the only company manufacturing large quantities of placenta-based cell products using a 3D bioreactor. Driving these development efforts is a management team dedicated to shaping the future of the company and of placenta-based cell therapies. For more information, log on to www.pluristem.com.
Karine Kleinhaus, M.D., M.P.H., is Divisional Vice President, North America at Pluristem Therapeutics. She has worked with multiple public and private biotechnology companies on both public and investor relations. Prior to that, she was an Assistant Professor in the Departments of Obstetrics and Gynecology and Psychiatry at the NYU School of Medicine. At NYU, Dr. Kleinhaus conducted medical research funded under a multi-year NIH grant. She published more than 25 papers in leading peer-reviewed journals such as the Annals of the New York Academy of Science, American Journal of Medical Genetics, and the American Journal of Epidemiology. Before that Dr. Kleinhaus practiced obstetrics and then completed two fellowships at Columbia University.
Dr. Kleinhaus received her medical degree from Tel Aviv University, earned a Master of Public Health from Columbia’s Mailman School of Public Health, and a bachelor’s degree, cum laude, from Princeton University.