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Pluristem Obtains Issuance from U.S. Patent Office for Coverage of Proprietary Stem Cell Expansion Technology
10/6/2005 7:30:01 AM
Company Simulates Natural Environment of Human Bone to Expand Hematopoietic Stem Cells, Without Growth Factors, Initially Targeting Bone Marrow Transplantation Market Exceeding $5 Billion

HAIFA, Israel, Oct 06, 2005 (BUSINESS WIRE) -- Pluristem Life Systems, Inc. ( PLRS ), a biotechnology company dedicated to the expansion of stem cells from umbilical cord blood to address a myriad of fatal illnesses, today announced that it received an Issuance from the U.S. Patent Office for "Method of Producing Undifferentiated Hematopoietic Stem Cells Using a Stationary Phase Plug Flow Bioreactor" - U.S. Patent Number 6911201. The Company also holds issued patents in Australia, New Zealand and South Africa.

The patent allowance provides coverage to Pluristem's concept of creating a three-dimensional bone-like environment that supports expansion of hematopoietic stem cell form cord blood samples while minimizing their differentiation into more mature cells that cannot be transplanted into the patient and reconstituted his blood and immune system.

Additionally, the patent issuance protects the concept and the mechanism of action of the PluriX(TM) bioreactor. Two key features differentiate Pluristem's system from the surrounding competition. First, unlike the two-dimensional conditions and the suspension cultures utilized by most competitors, Pluristem's technology mimics the three-dimensional (3-D) natural bone marrow environment. Second, the expansion process is carried out in an environment not supplemented with exogenous, potential biohazard growth factors.

Pluristem's core technology is designed to expand Hematopoietic Stem Cells (HSC). These cells are required for bone marrow transplants and are the only cells that can reconstitute a critically damaged hematopoietic system. In the physiologic environment simulated within the PluriX(TM) bioreactor, these life saving stem cells can self-renew and expand while concomitant differentiation processes are minimized. Reducing differentiation rate of hematopoietic stem cell is critical to the validity of any expansion technology as differentiated cells cannot repopulate and rebuild a patient's hematopoietic (blood and immune) system. Additionally, our expansion protocol makes use of cord blood rather than traditionally used bone marrow. Cord blood is preferred over bone marrow as a source of stem cells for many reasons including absence of morbidity to the donor and less demanding tissue match for the recipient.

"Issuance of this patent at this crucial phase in time has allowed Pluristem to be in a key position in this enormous market. The 3-D human marrow-like environment created in the PluriX(TM) bioreactor has enormous potential. This clearly revolutionizes the field of bone marrow transplantation and can potentially eliminate the suffering associated with the toxic side effects of traditional therapies," stated Dr Shai Meretzki, CTO and co-inventor of Pluristem's stem cell expansion technology.

"Pluristem is well positioned, with this broad patent protection, to actively pursue partnering relationships, to garner significant market share due to the strength of the patent issuance, and communicate its renaissance to the investment community. The issuance of this patent strengthens our belief that the PluriX(TM) cell expansion system is a promising solution for the critical global shortfall of matched tissue for bone marrow transplantation (BMT). The ability of Pluristem's technology to expand HSCs in a non-supplemented cytokine environment is to our knowledge unique and has the potential to save millions of lives," added Zami Aberman CEO.

About Pluristem

Pluristem is a biopharmaceutical company developing stem cell products for cell regenerative therapy. Pluristem's platform for expanding stem cells offers breakthrough technology and multiple product opportunities in many therapeutic areas. Pluristem has exclusive rights to the PluriX(TM) cell expansion system under a licensing agreement with Technion Institute of Technology and the Weisman Institute of Science.

For more information, visit the Company's website at: www.pluristem.com.

Safe Harbor Statement

This press release contains statements, which may constitute "forward-looking statements." Those statements include statements regarding the intent, belief or current expectations of Pluristem Life Systems, Inc., and members of our management as well as the assumptions on which such statements are based. Forward-looking statements in this release include statements regarding the company receiving a grant for our patent, that the patent received will protect our intellectual property, that our system has advantages over competitive systems; that we will be in a key position in this enormous market; that the PluriX(TM) bioreactor has enormous potential; that we are well positioned to actively pursue partnering relationships, to garner significant market share due to the strength of the patent issuance, and communicate its renaissance to the investment community; and that our technology offers opportunities for therapeutic products and to save lives. Factors which may significantly change or prevent our forward looking statements from fruition include potential successful challenges to our patent by competitors; that our patents are not sufficient to protect essential aspects of our technology; that competitors may invent better technology; that we may not have sufficient financing to develop our products; our products may not work as well as hoped or worse, they may harm recipients; and that we may not be able raise funding for development or working capital when we require it. As well, our products may never develop into useful products and even if they do, they may not be approved for sale to the public. For further risk factors see the Company's latest 10-KSB filed with the SEC.

SOURCE: Pluristem Life Systems, Inc.

For Pluristem Life Systems, Inc.
DeMonte Associates
Cynthia DeMonte, 212-605-0525
cdemonte*aol.com

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