HAIFA, Israel, Nov. 01, 2016 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Pluristem Therapeutics Inc. (PSTI) (PSTI), a leading developer of placenta-based cell therapy products, today announced that the United Kingdom’s Medicines & Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) has cleared Pluristem’s application to begin the pivotal Phase III trial of PLX-PAD cells in the treatment of Critical Limb Ischemia (CLI) for patients who are unsuitable for revascularization. Pluristem’s CLI program was previously selected by the European Medicines Agency (EMA) for its Adaptive Pathways pilot project, which may allow for conditional marketing approval after a single pivotal Phase III trial.
The multinational Phase III trial will be conducted in the U.S. as well as Europe. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has previously given positive feedback on the trial protocol in a pre-Phase III interaction. Pluristem’s intention is to file a request for marketing authorization in the U.S. and in Europe following a successful completion of this 250-patient trial.
“Pluristem is very pleased to receive clearance to commence our pivotal Phase III CLI trial in the United Kingdom. We are eager to move forward to confirm efficacy of PLX-PAD cells in CLI, and anticipate receiving similar authorizations from additional regulators in Europe and the United States. Executing on an accelerated clinical development timeline, we anticipate commencing patient enrollment in the first half of 2017,” stated Pluristem Chairman and CEO, Zami Aberman. “We believe cell therapy holds great promise for patients with difficult to treat, life threatening conditions, such as CLI, and hope to play an important role in improving their health outcomes.”
The Phase III trial will evaluate PLX-PAD cells in the treatment of CLI in a double blind, randomized, placebo controlled trial. An estimated 250 patients with CLI Rutherford Category 5, who are unsuitable candidates for revascularization, will be enrolled. Patients will be treated with 300 million cells or placebo, injected twice intramuscularly (IM) two months apart. The primary endpoint will be time to amputation or death, allowing for a survival analysis that is well powered to deliver statistically significant results from a trial of this size.
About Critical Limb Ischemia
In CLI, fatty deposits block arteries in the leg, leading to greatly reduced blood flow. This causes leg pain at rest, non-healing ulcers and gangrene. Patients with CLI are at high risk for limb amputation and death within a year of diagnosis. While some conservative treatments exist to relieve pain and provide local ulcer care, most patients will ultimately need a revascularization procedure. Many, however, are not suitable candidates for revascularization, and have high rates of major amputations (up to 40% at six months from diagnosis).