An Israeli company announced on Wednesday that it had developed a highly-effective vaccine against radiation poisoning.
The Israeli news site Mako reported that the Haifa-based company Pluristem Therapeutics made the announcement together with the US Department of Defense.
The company said that the vaccine showed extremely-improved survival rates among animals subjected to high levels of radiation.
Use of the vaccine increased survival rates by 74 percent, the company stated, compared to only four percent in the control group.
The vaccine, called PLX-R18, involves the injection of placental cells into the subjects 24 hours before radiation exposure and 72 hours after.
After the treatment, subjects showed strong improvement in the amount of platelets and white blood cells, as well as bone marrow, all of which are severely damaged by exposure to high levels of radiation.
The vaccine has already been given preliminary approval by the US Food and Drug Administration, meaning it can be used to treat victims following an emergency nuclear event. It has yet to receive full marketing approval.
President and CEO of Pluristem Yaky Yanay said, “We are very pleased with the positive results from the trials, which show that PLX-R18 can be used as a preventive treatment before exposure to radiation.”
“These results make a significant contribution to the protection of rescue and security forces that need to enter radiation-contaminated areas,” he added.