Israeli placenta-based cell therapy developer Pluristem announced on Wednesday that it had developed a highly effective vaccine against acute radiation poisoning.
The company together with the US Department of Defense conducted successfully series of studies with PLX-R18 cell therapy product as a prophylactic treatment against Acute Radiation Syndrome (ARS) managed prior to radiation exposure.
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Pluristem said that the vaccine showed extremely survival rates among animals exposed to high levels of radiation.
The vaccine was given 24 hours before radiation exposure, and again 72 hours after radiation exposure. Results showed a significant increase in survival rates, from 4% in the placebo group to 74% in the treated animal group, the company stated,
The survival group showed an increase in recovery of blood lineages such as platelets, neutrophils, white blood cells, and lymphocytes, all of which are damaged by exposure to radiation. Furthermore, tissues collected show a significant increase in bone marrow cell numbers and improved regenerative capability into all blood lineages.
The vaccine which is in use of Armed Forces Radiobiology Research Institute at the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences was granted in 2015 an FDA orphan drug designation. Now it has to receive full marketing approval.
PLX-R18 is also being evaluated by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases as a treatment following radiation exposure.
President and CEO of Pluristem Yaky Yanay said, “We are very pleased with the positive results from the trials, which show that PLX-R18 can be used as a preventive treatment before exposure to radiation.” He added, “These results make a significant contribution to the protection of rescue and security forces that need to enter radiation-contaminated areas,”