In the most recent case, a woman who developed this condition following an unsuccessful bone-marrow transplant after being treated with radiation and chemotherapy for lymphoma experienced an improvement in her bone marrow and blood count following injection with Pluristem's cells, the company said.
In the other case earlier this year, Pluristem's stem cells were injected into a seven-year-old girl with aplastic anemia after two bone-marrow transplants failed to improve her condition. The stem-cell treatment improved her blood count enough for her to be released from hospital and ultimately saved her life, according to Pluristem and the girl's doctors.
Both patients were treated under Israel's compassionate-use clause at Hadassah Medical Center in Jerusalem.
Pluristem has applied for orphan drug status from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for its treatment, based on stem cells derived from placenta. Orphan drug status, reserved for treatments of rare diseases, gives drug developers certain benefits, including government-subsidized research, exclusive marketing agreements and other financial incentives.
The Israel-based life-sciences company is working to use placenta-derived stem cells to treat a variety of other conditions, including radiation exposure, peripheral arterial disease, multiple sclerosis, and irritable bowel syndrome.
Clinical trials have recently shown the safety of using Pluristem's placenta-derived stem cells to treat peripheral arterial disease, it said. Pluristem's treatments have a large market potential because they are simple to administer, requiring only injections that can be given outside of a hospital setting, the company said.