Pluristem Therapeutics Inc., a biopharmaceutical company focusing on developing placenta-based cell therapies, announced that the safety of its placental expanded (PLX) cells, a platform to deliver therapeutic drugs for the treatment of preclampsia, was successfully demonstrated in a pre-clinical study with pregnant rat models. The study was conducted at the Charles River Laboratories.
Preeclampsia is a common disease among pregnant females. Symptoms often observed in patients are high blood pressure and high levels of protein in urine, and the condition can cause premature births, stillbirths and early neonatal and maternal deaths. Approximately 6-8 % of pregnancies worldwide suffer from preeclampsia, according to the World Health Organization.
Currently, the only known treatments for preeclampsia are abortion or delivery.
Researchers injected either PLX-PAD cells at a dose of 10 million cells or placebo in 44 pregnant female rats on gestational day 13 and monitored their viability, body weight, and food consumption. On gestational day 21, they examined uterine contents and conditions in dams and pups. As results, according to the report of Charles River Laboratories, no maternal or fetal developmental toxicity was observed in pregnant rats injected PLX-PAD cells.
“Pluristem is extremely pleased with the demonstrated safety of our PLX-PAD cells in pre-clinical models of pregnancy,” said Zami Aberman, Chairman and CEO of Pluristem. “This study, together with the work performed by Dr. Brett Mitchell from Texas A&M College of Medicine, suggesting that our PLX-PAD cells are efficacious in preeclamptic animal models, is an important milestone towards our goal of initiating clinical trials for preeclampsia.”