Israel’s Pluristem: 75% of treated COVID-19 patients off ventilators

The survival rate is 87.5%, Pluristem Therapeutics reported.

Biologists work in a laboratory at Pluristem Theraputics in Haifa (photo credit: REUTERS)
Biologists work in a laboratory at Pluristem Theraputics in Haifa
(photo credit: REUTERS)
A Haifa-based regenerative medicine company that has been treating COVID-19 patients with its biological therapeutic products reported that 75% of those treated were off any mechanical ventilation within 28 days.
Pluristem Therapeutics developed PLX cells that induce the immune system’s natural regulatory T cells and M2 macrophages, which in previous pre-clinical studies on animals showed therapeutic benefit against pulmonary hypertension, lung fibrosis, acute kidney injury and gastrointestinal injury – all potential complications of severe COVID-19.
Last month, Pluristem began testing its PLX cells on patients with COVID-19 in hopes of reducing the effects of the virus-induced pneumonia or pneumonitis and leading to a better prognosis.
Eighteen Patients were treated under a compassionate use program in Israel and the FDA single Patient Expanded Access Program. They were all in intensive care units, on invasive mechanical ventilation and suffered from Acute Respiratory Syndrome at the time of treatment.
So far, eight of the patients have completed a 28-day follow up period.
The survival rate of the eight patients is 87.5%.
In contrast, nearly 90% of coronavirus patients who required mechanical ventilation in New York's largest health system, Northwell Health, died, according to a report by The Journal of the American Medical Association.
“We are highly encouraged by this data,” said Pluristem CEO Yaky Yanay, noting that the company was last week cleared by the US Food and Drug Administration for a Phase II study in the treatment of severe COVID-19 cases complicated by Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome (ARDS).
 “We are currently focused on initiating the Phase II clinical study,” he said, but noted that the company will continue to help treat patients through compassionate-use programs.