Pluristem Therapeutics' Plant Scale-up And and New Heart Tissue Data Signal Buy Opportunity Print E-mail
By Ray Dirks of Ray Dirks Research   
Wednesday, 21 March 2012 00:39
Given some recent news, volume and interest are returning to Pluristem Therapeutics (NASDAQ:PSTI), creator of regenerative medicine based on stem cells that come from the human placenta. Once again, the stock is starting to move again.

On Tuesday, shares closed up seven percent and then rose another three percent after hours following 
the firm's announcement that its PLacental eXpanded (PLX) cells, tested in a preclinical animal model of acute myocardial infarction (AMI), proved to effectively improve several cardiac hemodynamic parameters in animals that received those cells.

Last week the company announced plans to scale up its manufacturing facility to accommodate upcoming clinical trials where safety and potential efficacy have already been shown in humans with peripheral artery disease (PAD). Plans for the next phase of clinical trials, done overseas, are moving forward rapidly.

PSTI's patented method of deriving stem cells from placentas, named its PLX drug delivery platform, releases a 'cocktail' of therapeutic proteins to treat inflammatory diseases in people. The PLX technology does not require tissue matching so there is no risk of a patient's own body rejecting the therapy.

Manufacturing has increased two-fold. Early-stage biotechnology companies rarely attempt this unless there is widespread confidence that the drug works. In fact, PSTI is expanding its entire plant, further evidence that management, clinical trial researchers, and shareholders believe in the company.

When the scale-up is complete, PSTI will become the world's leader in producing stem cells for a variety of clinical uses. We believe this will attract both small and large pharmaceutical companies to outsource stem cell production with this new, state-of-the-art plant.

A word about PSTI's latest clinical progress: mouse data has shown that dead heart tissue in mice induced with heart attacks grew a statistically significant number of heart arteries, after displaying positive increases in heart function while the animals were alive, post-treatment.

Not only did the hearts of these animals work better, but microscopic analyses showed an actual increase in vital tissue growth to support a healthy heart. New animal trials are planned for congestive heart failure on mice that are made diabetic. We expect highly positive results.

Further, other animal studies are showing effectiveness in nerve pain and muscle damage, in addition to improvements in multiple sclerosis and inflammatory bowel disorder.

The competitive space is crowded with others working on such ailments. That is why we are encouraged with the latest data showing an outstanding degree of rebuilt heart tissue using the PLX drug platform technology.

Just as we advised last October before the stock ran higher, accumululation of the stock at these levels might prove to be a smart move. Technically and fundamentally, we may be looking at much more upside given the returning volume and interest which we've been seeing in the stock the past couple of weeks.

Disclosure: None

Any Readers of this Article who wish to contact Ray Dirks of Ray Dirks Research personally may reach Ray at [email protected].

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