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Professor Karussis: BrainStorm Cell Therapeutics Inc.'s Study Offers the Biggest Hope to Stop Disease Progression in ALS Patients


11/14/2011 8:19:31 AM

NEW YORK & PETACH TIKVAH, Israel--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- BrainStorm Cell Therapeutics Inc. (OTCBB: BCLI.OB - News), an innovative developer of adult stem cell technologies and CNS therapeutics, today announced that patients from across the globe are demanding to be included in the pioneering clinical study started earlier this year at Jerusalem’s Hadassah University Medical Center. The current Hadassah study, in collaboration with BrainStorm, utilizes BrainStorm’s NurOwn™ technology for growing and modifying adult stem cells to treat ALS as well as other neurological diseases.

Adrian Harel, Acting CEO of Brainstorm, said that both he and Prof. Dimitrios Karussis, M.D. Ph.D., who is leading the clinical trial and is the head of Hadassah's Multiple Sclerosis Center and a member of the European Steering Committee for Bone Marrow Transplantation in Multiple Sclerosis, "are being bombarded with letters and calls from the US, Europe and also from Arab countries" from patients wishing to learn more about NurOwn™ and be included in the study. ALS patients number about 750 In Israel and 30,000 in North America at any given time.

"So far there has been no effective treatment, nothing even close to arrest progression of ALS," Dr. Karussis stresses. "This is definitely the first and biggest hope now in this field."

"This clinical study is very important for patients and for their families,” said Chaim Lebovits, President of Brainstorm, “because it gives hope that doesn't exist right now.

About Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis

Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), often referred to as Lou Gehrig's Disease, is a progressive neurodegenerative disease that affects nerve cells in the brain and the spinal cord. According to the ALS Association, approximately 5,600 people in the U.S. are diagnosed with ALS each year and it is estimated that as many as 30,000 Americans may have the disease at any given time.

About NurOwn™

BrainStorm’s core technology, NurOwn™, is based on the scientific achievements of Professor Eldad Melamed, former Head of Neurology, Rabin Medical Center, and Tel-Aviv University, and a member of the Scientific Committee of the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson's Research, and Professor Daniel Offen, Head of the Neuroscience Laboratory, Felsenstein Medical Research Center (FMRC) at the Tel-Aviv University.

The NurOwn™ technology processes autologous adult human mesenchymal stem cells that are present in bone marrow and are capable of self-renewal as well as differentiation into many other cell types. Adult human bone marrow cells are induced to differentiate into astrocyte-like cells capable of releasing neurotrophic factors, including glial-derived neurotrophic factor (GDNF) by means of a specific differentiation-inducing culture medium. The ability to induce differentiation into astrocyte-like cells along with intramuscular or intrathecal (or other) delivery makes NurOwn™ technology highly attractive for treating ALS and Parkinson’s disease as well as MS and spinal cord injury.

About BrainStorm Cell Therapeutics, Inc.

BrainStorm Cell Therapeutics Inc. is a biotech company developing adult stem cell therapeutic products, derived from autologous (self) bone marrow cells, for the treatment of neurodegenerative diseases. The Company holds rights to develop and commercialize the technology through an exclusive, worldwide licensing agreement with Ramot at Tel Aviv University Ltd., the technology transfer company of Tel-Aviv University. The technology is currently in a Phase I/II clinical trials for ALS.

Safe Harbor Statement

Statements in this announcement other than historical data and information constitute "forward-looking statements" and involve risks and uncertainties that could cause BrainStorm Cell Therapeutics Inc.'s actual results to differ materially from those stated or implied by such forward-looking statements. The potential risks and uncertainties include risks associated with BrainStorm's limited operating history, history of losses; minimal working capital, dependence on its license to Ramot's technology; ability to adequately protect the technology; dependence on key executives and on its scientific consultants; ability to obtain required regulatory approvals; and other factors detailed in BrainStorm's annual report on Form 10-K and quarterly reports on Form 10-Q available at http://www.sec.gov. The Company does not undertake any obligation to update forward-looking statements made by us.

Contact:. BrainStorm Cell Therapeutics Adrian Harel, Ph.D., Acting CEO +972-3-9236384 aharel@brainstorm-cell.com www.brainstorm-cell.com


Read at BioSpace.com

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