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Pluristem-BCRT Alliance Extended

PSTI

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Pluristem Therapeutics, Inc. (PSTI - Snapshot Report) recently announced the renewal of its five-year collaboration research agreement with the Berlin-Brandenburg Center for Regenerative Therapy (BCRT) at Charite - University Medicine Berlin. The collaboration agreement, which was initially signed in 2007, was extended for another five years till 2017.

As per the 2007 agreement, Pluristem and BCRT collaborated for several indications using the former’s patented placental expanded (PLX) cells. The companies have been focusing on neurological indications such as multiple sclerosis and Parkinson's disease.

The original agreement also covered organ transplantation, cardiovascular indications such as inflammatory cardiomyopathy and comprehensive immunological research for Pluristem’s peripheral artery disease (PAD) clinical programs. Pluristem was also granted exclusive ownership of the technology and any products stemming from the collaboration with BCRT.

We note that Pluristem’s PAD clinical trials are entering into phase II trials and target a lucrative market worth up to $16.5 billion as per the company sources. Pluristem also made significant progress with its cardiovascular indications during the course of the agreement. Both the cardiovascular indications - ischemic heart disease and diastolic heart failure - completed pre-clinical trials and target a highly lucrative market of $24 billion as per the company.

Pluristem also discussed its future plan for its technology and products stemming from the collaboration. During the course of their renewed agreement, the company and BCRT will be collaborating over Pluristem’s phase I/II clinical trial in Germany on the regeneration of injured gluteal muscle, in addition to immunological research and the development of new product candidates.

Our Take

We are pleased to see that Pluristem and BCRT have renewed their collaboration agreement. We expect investor focus to stay on the company’s progress with the indications in which it already has pre-clinical initiatives and also on other initiatives with new indications.

We currently have a Neutral recommendation on Pluristem. The stock carries a Zacks #3 Rank (Hold rating) in the short run.

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