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      Pharma companies can benefit from stem cell research: Expert

      Contrary to the fear that stem cell research would affect pharma companies, an international expert said that it would help them in developing new drugs to cure complications arising out of the transplantation process.

      For most part, pharma companies have benefited from stem cell research. The companies can turn to research for developing anti-infectives and new drugs, said Naynesh R Kamani, professor of pediatrics and immunology, Children's National Medical Center, Washington, US, while addressing a press conference at an international symposium on stem cell therapy and research.

      Though the use of cord blood for stem cell may be relatively new to India, in US and European regions, stem cell research has been happening for the past 15 years and they are largely successful. Cord blood has the potential not only to rebuild blood forming systems but also to cure non-blood diseases like diabetes and cardiac diseases, he said.

      "During the next decade, the potential of the use of cord blood will be realised in India. We have seen this in the US during last decade," he added.

      Lifecell, India's first private cord blood bank, in association with Sri Ramachandra Medical College Research and Institute (SRMC & RI), is organising an international symposium on stem cell therapy and research with special reference to umbilical cord blood in Chennai, Mumbai and Delhi during January 6-8. International physicians and experts will talk about applications of stem cell therapy in various fields of medicine.

      LifeCell and SRMC & RI are jointly setting up India's first stem cell transplant centre in Chennai, which will be operational from June 2006. The centre will initially focus on haematological and oncological ailments and expand to other areas in a phased manner.

      January 05, 2006


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