Israeli biotech Pluristem uses stem cells from placentas

Fast Company has a feature on Israeli biotech company Pluristem Therapeutics, which harvests stem cells from human placentas to treat a number of illnesses, including multiple sclerosis, diabetes, alcoholism and sports injuries. The news outlet bills this story, and Pluristem's research and products, as "an indication of where biotech will be headed over the next decade."

Pluristem's line of stem cells are called Placental eXpanded (PLX), which are harvested from donated placentas. They're placed in a bioreactor for several weeks then extracted using a proprietary method. A company report is quoted in which PLX helped improve coordination of stroke patients. Pluristem is looking at PLX cells to treat sports injuries such as hamstring tears and is in the process of applying for an Investigational New Drug, and is in Phase II trials, for the ability of the cells to strengthen pelvic girdle muscles after hip replacement.

As with many stories these days about stem cell research and companies, this story makes it clear where the cells come from. "It is important to note that Pluristem's method of extracting stem cells from the placenta does not involved embryos in any way," the article states.

- read the whole thing at Fast Company