The Pentagon is testing an Israeli-developed system for the treatment of soldiers exposed to high levels of atomic radiation from industrial catastrophe or a terrorist “dirty bomb.”
The U.S. Department of Defense’s (DOD) Armed Forces Radiobiology Research Institute (AFRRI) is conducting experiments on monkeys to evaluate the effectiveness of Pluristem Therapeutics’ PLX-R18 as a treatment for acute radiation syndrome (ARS) prior to and within the first 24 hours of radiation exposure.
The treatment, produced by Pluristem Therapeutics, based in Haifa, has proven to be nearly 100 percent effective in mice.
The prospective AFRRI study will evaluate therapy given prior to or within the first 24 hours of radiation exposure, which Pluristem points out is a timeframe that will be more relevant to the needs of the U.S. armed forces. Data from the two parallel studies will, in addition, provide a broader understanding of the potential therapeutic effects of PLX-R18 used as a countermeasure for ARS.
“We are pleased to see increased interest from U.S. governmental agencies in our PLX-R18 cell therapy,” noted Zami Aberman, chairman and co-CEO of Pluristem. “In view of the therapeutic effects of our product and the current geopolitical situation, governments can potentially shield their citizens from the dire health effects arising from exposure to nuclear radiation, saving many lives in the process, which is our ultimate goal.”