Growth in Stem Cell Research

Growth in Stem Cell ResearchGrowth in Stem Cell Research

Iran is expanding investment in stem cell research and its application in various therapies, particularly for hard-to-treat diseases, through the Office of the Vice- Presidency for Science and Technology. As a result of the increase in the number of companies active in the domain of stem cells in the past three years, more than 400 products are processed in the country, indicating a multifold growth compared with the eight-year tenure of previous administration when there were fewer than 50 knowledge-based firms in total.

“There are over 40 knowledgebased firms in the field of stem cell and regenerative medicine alone in Iran today,” said Amir Ali Hamidiyeh, secretary of the Headquarters for Development of Stem Cell Science and Technology (HDSCST). He made the statement at a press briefing for the second National Festival and International Congress on Stem Cell Sciences and Technologies and Regenerative Medicine to be held July 13- 15 in Tehran, Mehr News Agency reports. According to the conference

secretariat, 1,444 people have signed up to attend the event from across the world, including from Iraq, India, Pakistan, Jordan, Russia, Australia, Germany, China, Britain and South Korea. They all are among their country’s respected figures in centers with high academic standing.

The congress is co-sponsored by the Vice-Presidency for Science and Technology and Council on Development of Stem Cell Sciences and Technology. So far, eight stem-cell therapy products for use in hospitals have been produced at the HDSCST laboratories. Manufacturing licenses have been granted for an additional number, while others are on the wait list.

“Prior to 2014, only 25 knowledgebased companies had applied to operate in this field, of which only one was actively producing quality stem cell products,” Hamidiyeh pointed out.

But since then, over 25 workgroups have been formed in cooperation with experts in the specific sciences. Stem cells are cells that have the ability to divide and develop into many different cell types in the body during early life and growth. Stem-cell therapy is the use of stem cells to treat or prevent a disease

or condition. Bone marrow transplant is the most widely used stem-cell therapy, but some therapies derived from umbilical cord blood are also in use.

Future of Medicine in Stem

Cells The future of medicine “is interrelated with stem cell therapy and the treatment of refractory and incurable diseases is in this field of medicine,” according to Dr. Ahmad Vosouq Dizaj, the clinical deputy of Royan Institute. Having access to engineering sciences as well as the combination of biology and medicine can play a crucial role in redressing health problems, he said. Stem cells have the ability to replace damaged cells and treat disease. They can also be used to study diseases and provide a resource for testing new medical treatments. The use of stem cells reduces the risk of viral diseases transmission and incidence of Graft Versus Host Disease (GVHD). The ability to perform organ transplants is among the benefits of umbilical cord blood transfusion. Using stems cells is also one of the best ways to treat blood diseases since the method has a success rate of 70% worldwide.

Storage of stem cells is a valuable investment. So far, 27 cord blood banks have been launched across the country. There are two types: public and private banks for stem cell storage. The former does not charge a fee for storage. But in the latter, the cost of collection and genetic testing is about $645 and the annual charge for storage is $33, according to ISNA. Iran is a leading country in biomedical research. Researchers and physicians have been successfully performing bone

marrow transplants during the past few years. Iran’s stem cell research is centered at the Royan Institute for Reproductive Biomedicine, Stem Cell Biology and Technology, located in northern Tehran. 

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