The Japan Patent Office has granted a patent to Brainstorm Cell Therapeutics covering the proprietary technique that generates the company’s cell-based therapy NurOwn from mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs).

Through this technique, researchers can harness MSCs directly from a patient and mature them into cells that produce high levels of neurotrophic factors, which are compounds that promote nervous tissue growth and survival. NurOwn is being investigated as a treatment for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and multiple sclerosis (MS).

“We are extremely pleased with the continued development of our patent portfolio protecting our technology through strategic intellectual property achievements,” Chaim Lebovits, CEO of Brainstorm, said in a press release. “This new patent grant from the Japanese Patent Office is an important addition to our IP [intellectual property] portfolio for the NurOwn technology and is an important element of our business strategy.”