Teething problems

Stem cell research is an emerging interdisciplinary field of research with a clinical application that is focused on the repair, replacement or regeneration of cells, tissues or organs, to restore impaired function. India is one of the few countries in the world pursuing stem cell research, but regenerative medicine comprising stem cell therapies and tissue engineered products is at a nascent stage in the country. Moreover, they are primarily autologous therapies; the stem cell based therapy on the autologous mode is evolving as the new branch of therapy to address a spectrum of clinical disorders, for which traditional medicine does not offer any cure. K V Subramaniam, President and Chief Exceutive Officer, Reliance Life Sciences says, “Stem cell research includes haematological disorders, both congenital and acquired, leukaemia, metabolic disorders, bone and cartilage defects, corneal blindness, neurodegenerative disorders etc. Only when they shift to allogenic therapies would the larger business opportunity open up. This would necessitate a lot of basic research work in immunological aspects of stem cell therapies.” The Indian stem cell industry is very huge, considering the sheer population and size of the country, not to mention the birth rate. As 38 percent of the population belongs to the middle and upper middle class, who if informed, inclined, and above all, can afford to bank, the absolute number is by no means small. Stem cell research has shown very promising possibilities. The estimated total addressable market in India for stem cell therapy is approximately Rs 2,740 crore. The biggest opportunity is in diabetes type 1 and type 2 followed by leg ischemia, meniscal injury and dilated cardiomyopathy, because of absence of comprehensive cure using the current treatment, and stem cell therapy holds a good market. Also there are good opportunities in liver cirrhosis, Parkinson’s disease, cerebral stroke, spinal cord injury and multiple sclerosis due to very low level of satisfaction with the current treatment protocols.Read more…

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