Pluristem Therapeutics, best known for developing novel placenta-based cell therapy products, announced May 6 that it has filed a US provisional patent application titled “Methods and Compositions for Producing Cannabinoids,” which covers the use of Pluristem’s state-of-the-art, proprietary 3-D cell culturing technology for the potential manufacturing of cannabinoid-producing cells.If successful, this would shift the cannabis industry from agriculture-based growing into a full Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP) 3-D cell culturing platform for growing and expanding cannabinoid-producing cells. Today, manufacturing cannabinoid-producing cells is resource intensive for the number of cells it yields. Pluristem’s process, the company said, is expected to grow these cells in an automated and controlled manner at potentially significantly higher scales with the batch-to-batch consistency of commercial-grade products. “We believe that Pluristem’s key competitive advantage is its advanced manufacturing platform that we developed in order to secure our leading position in the cell therapy industry with several product candidates in phase III studies,” said Pluristem president and co-CEO, Yaky Yanay. “Any future development with respect to cannabinoid-producing cells is expected to include third-party funding of development expenses. Further, in exploring such development, Pluristem intends to comply with applicable regulations and Nasdaq standards.”He continued, “We look forward to further exploring the potential contribution our technology has on developing next-generation cannabinoid production while also potentially creating significant value for Pluristem’s shareholders.”Until now, the Haifa-based company focused on the development of the world’s first placenta-based cell therapy products, which in studies have shown positive top-line results in the treatment of intermittent claudication (IC), an early stage of peripheral arterial disease.