Stem Cell Research & Development
Stem cell research has rapidly become a globally popular concept worldwide. Research is expanding widely, and stem cell breakthroughs occur on a daily basis. The last 10 years have seen a tremendous growth spurt in the field of stem cell research.
Total Cord Blood Transplants
The first stem cell breakthrough therapy emerged in 1956 with the first successful bone marrow transplant for a leukemia patient. Since then, bone marrow transplants became the popular way of stem cell therapy. However, the chances of GvHD were considerably higher and extraction of stem cells from the bone marrow was quite painful. This was the first positive signal to the then disregarded stem cell potential from any source.
Stem Cell Therapy
At least 21 million Stem Cells, of a potential 500 million, can be banked from a single umbilical cord.
1978 brought along with it the profound discovery of the presence of stem cells in the umbilical cord and cord blood. Research trials were carried out on mice and it was noted that these stem cells were a lot more potent than bone marrow stem cells and yielded more successful and faster results. The first successful cord blood transplant was carried out in France in 1988 on a leukemia patient. Ever since, cord blood transplants have become widely popular and the preferred choice of stem cell therapy.
Stem cell research and therapy has also been extended to include treatment for Cerebral Palsy, Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), Spinal Cord Injuries, Diabetes and many more diseases. Research trials conducted on animals have yielded significant results and cord blood stem cell therapy for these diseases is now being conducted for human beings as well.
Research also focuses on the use of stem cells for treating Parkinson's disease, Alzheimer's disease, cognitive disorders, osteoarthritis, chronic retinal disorders, myocardial infarction, chronic heart failure, liver cirrhosis, anti-ageing etc. Numerous scientific stem cell researches have successfully proven the stem cell potential. Regenerative medicine and stem cell technologies are estimated to become a global industry worth US$ 500 billion over the next 20 years. The Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) and the Department of Biotechnology (DBT), New Delhi have plans for a national stem cell initiative to prioritize research funding, focus on clinical applications and promote 'stem cell city clusters' in India. The Indian market potential is slated to be in the range of US$ 500 million. More than 45,000 people across the world are receiving stem cell transplants every year.
Stem cell research and technology can reduce pharmaceutical R&D by 25% each year, with savings of up to US $25 million in each drug market. Research also suggests that these stem cells have the potential to be the next revolution in the field of medicine.