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Pluristem Gains Most in 17 Months on Stem-Cell Study

Jan. 21 (Bloomberg) -- Pluristem Therapeutics Inc., the Israeli developer of stem-cell therapies, rose the most in more than 17 months after an experimental treatment showed promise in a study of 20 patients with muscle injuries.

The stock surged 22 percent to 16.18 shekels ($4.63) at 11:04 a.m. in Tel Aviv. Earlier it gained as much as 27 percent, the biggest increase since Aug. 6, 2012. The shares fell 15 percent yesterday ahead of the study results.

The early-stage clinical trial assessing Pluristem’s placental-expanded, or PLX-PAD, cells in people who had a buttock muscle injured during hip-replacement surgery found the treatment was safe, the company said in a statement today. Patients getting the injection also fared better in a muscle-contraction exercise six months later.

“These are remarkable results that signal advances in the cell-therapy industry,” Jason Kolbert, an analyst with Maxim Group LLC in New York, said at a press conference organized by Pluristem in Tel Aviv.

The study results suggest the stem-cell therapy could help treat a broader range of muscle and tendon injuries, according to the Haifa-based company. “We intend to move forward with implementing our strategy towards using PLX cells in orthopedic indications and muscle trauma,” Chief Executive Officer Zami Aberman said in the statement.

The results come after the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in June placed one of Pluristem’s most advanced studies on hold after a patient suffered an allergic reaction. The hold was lifted in September.

To contact the reporter on this story: David Wainer in Tel Aviv at dwainer3@bloomberg.net

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