July 7, 2008
BrainStorm Cell Therapeutics and Rutgers University Study Shows That Transplanting NTF Cells Improves the Recovery of Spinal Cord Injury Rat Model
BrainStorm Cell Therapeutics Inc. (OTCBB:BCLI), a leading developer of adult stem cell technologies and therapeutics, has completed a preclinical study in collaboration with the W.M. Keck Center for Collaborative Neuroscience at Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey. The study conducted at the Keck Center was an effort to repair spinal cord injuries in animals through the transplantation of Brainstorm's neurotrophic factor (NTF) adult stem cells. The results showed a positive trend of the NTF cells in the male animals.
The scientific team at the Keck Center injured the spinal cords of rats to replicate the type of trauma that causes paraplegia in humans. The rats were divided into two groups: the first was transplanted with Brainstorm NTF human cells and the other received similar injections of medium but without cells. During the experiment, the rats were scored using the BBB test to evaluate their motor function. The results indicated improved recovery in the group that received the NTF cells by comparison to the control group.The Keck Center researchers and Brainstorm scientists have concluded that these results may lead to a possible treatment and therefore the study will continue. The next step will be to transplant immunologically compatible syngeneic rat NTF cells to avoid rejection problems.
Rami Efrati, BrainStorm CEO commented, "We are pleased with the outcome of our spinal cord injury research with the Rutgers team, and hope that the next experiments using rat NTF cells will also yield positive results."
Dr. Martin Grumet, Director of the W.M. Keck Center for Collaborative Neuroscience at Rutgers and principal investigator of the experiment commented, "Transplantation of human cells into rats is complicated by rejection problems. Although the human NTFs survived only several weeks after transplant into the rats, we saw improvement in the BBB scores in the test group. In the next experiment, we will inject rat NTF cells into spinal injured rats. This will limit rejection problems and should allow us to more clearly analyze the effect of the BrainStorm technology."
There are an estimated 10,000 to 12,000 spinal cord injuries every year in the United States. A quarter-million Americans are currently living with spinal cord injuries and the cost of managing the care of these patients approaches $4 billion each year. More than 38 percent of all spinal cord injuries occur during car accidents, and almost one fourth are related to violent encounters, often involving guns and knives. Other causes include sporting accidents, falls and work-related accidents. More than half of all spinal cord injury patients are between the ages of 16 and 30 and more than 80 percent are men.
About BrainStorm Cell Therapeutics Inc.
Brainstorm Cell Therapeutics Inc. is an emerging company developing adult stem cell therapeutic products, derived from autologous (self) bone marrow cells, for the treatment of neurodegenerative diseases. The NurOwn(TM) patent pending technology is based on discoveries made by the scientific team led by prominent neurologist Professor Eldad Melamed, Head of Neurology at Rabin Medical Center, and expert cell biologist Dr. Daniel Offen, Head of the Neuroscience Laboratory at the Felsenstein Medical Research Center of Tel-Aviv University. The technology allows for the differentiation of bone marrow-derived stem cells into functional neurons and astrocytes, as demonstrated in animal models. 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 Company's primary focus is on Parkinson ALS and Spinal Cord Injury, although its technology has promise for treating several others diseases including MS, Huntington's disease and stroke.
Established in 1766, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, is America's eighth oldest institution of higher learning and one of the nation's premier public research universities. Serving more than 50,000 students on campuses in Camden, Newark and New Brunswick, Rutgers offers more than 280 bachelor's, master's, doctoral and professional degree programs. The university is home to 27 degree-granting schools and colleges, and more than 150 specialized centers and institutes.
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, including BrainStorm's ability to complete its equity financing transactions previously disclosed. The potential risks and uncertainties include, among others, risks associated with BrainStorm Cell Therapeutics Inc.'s limited operating history, history of losses and expectation to incur losses for the foreseeable future; dependence on its license to Ramot's technology; ability, together with its licensor, to adequately protect the NurOwn(TM) technology; dependence on key executives and on its scientific consultants; ability to identify, negotiate and successfully implement strategic partnering relationships; ability to complete clinical trials successfully and to obtain required regulatory approvals; competition with companies, some of which have greater resources and experience in developing and obtaining regulatory approval for treatments in BrainStorm Cell Therapeutics Inc.'s market; the limited public trading market for BrainStorm Cell Therapeutics Inc.'s stock which may never develop into an active market; and other factors detailed in BrainStorm Cell Therapeutics Inc.'s annual report on Form 10-KSB, quarterly reports on Form 10-Q, current reports on Form 8-K and other filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission available at http://www.sec.gov/ or by request to the Company. The Company does not undertake any obligation to update forward-looking statements made by us.