Mr Vipul Jain, chief executive officer, Advancells.
Q: What is the scope of stem cell therapy in treating various ailments?
Stem cell therapy has already changed and saved thousands of lives around the world. The therapy has proved to be effective in treating dangerous diseases like cardiac failure, Parkinson's, diabetes, Autism, Alzheimer, Cerebral Palsy, Eye disorders and various other life threatening diseases. All these diseases are not caused by something going wrong within a cell or organ, but are caused by complete loss of a specific cell type. Stem cells have the prospect of a cure as they offer the opportunity to put back into the body brand new functioning cells to replace those which have been damaged or degenerated.
Q: What are the business prospects in India? How big is the market and growth?
Stem cells hold great promise and potential for both basic sciences and medicine. Stem cells could be a major branch of medical treatment and eventually become a standard of care and practice in a few years.
With the global development of stem cell technology in research as well as clinical applications, it is very obvious that the field is making very large leaps to revolutionize the conventional approach of treating medicines and testing various drugs. The Stem Cell Research Forum of India says the stem-cell industry may grow at 15 percent reaching a billion-dollar industry by 2017. The field of stem cell biology and regenerative medicine is rapidly moving towards translational research and eventually to clinical practice in India. Since stem cells have the potential to be differentiated into any type of cell, they offer promise for treatments for a wide range of disease conditions. These include damage to the brain, spinal cord, skeletal muscles and the heart. Stem cell therapy is still in clinical trial stage for most of these indications. Hopefully it should become a standard therapy in the near future. Stem cells will be available as off-the-shelf product in the near future for treating various unmet medical needs. Majority of these products will be based on adult stem cells. Human mesenchymal stem cells, isolated from various post natal and adult human tissues, will become an attractive tool for their potential in cell therapy and will hit the market in the near future. New up-scaling technologies will emerge for mass production of stem cells without losing their inherent ‘stemness' properties, thereby making stem cell products affordable.