Indian embyonic stem cell technology gets patent in Malaysia

Two new patents in human embryonic stem cell technology for Indian company, Nutech Mediworld in Malaysia is surely a shot in arm for ‘Make in India’ campaign in context of biotechnology sector

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The Human Embryonic Stem Cell technology developed by Dr Geeta Shroff at Nutech Mediworld has been granted the 66th patent in Malaysia for the treatment of various medical conditions.

Dr Shroff's  technology is being used for treatments of many incurable diseases ranging from Spinal cord injury, Diabetes, ALS, Cerebral palsy, Stroke, Parkinson's disease and others. She developed the technology to isolate human embryonic stem cells, culture them, prepare them for clinical application, and store them in ready-to-use form.

The technology differentiates itself from other stem cell therapies in three major ways. Firstly, it has universal application, i.e. anyone and everyone can take these cells without the need for matching. Secondly, it is available in a ready to use form with a shelf life of 6 months & can be transported easily. Thus is not clinic based. Thirdly, it has an easy non-invasive delivery mechanism and can be administered in the simple form of an injection. Due to these qualities it has the potential to be made readily available in pharmacies across the world, much like insulin.

According to Dr Geeta Shroff, Founder and Medical Director of Nutech Mediworld, "This new patent establishes India as a leader in stem cell therapy as now we have developed a ready-to-use product with a shelf life of six months. Due to the enormous health benefits to the population, it is important to make this therapy available globally, as a first line of treatment, to safely and effectively improve the quality of life of patients suffering from conditions presently labeled incurable or terminal."

Over the last 13 years, Nutech Mediworld has treated over 1300 patients from 51countries. Conditions treated include spinal injuries, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson's disease, diabetes, Lyme disease, cerebral palsy and autism. A number of peer-reviewed papers related to this technology have already been published in international scientific & medical journals.

Early this year, Dr Shroff's technology was formally granted its 65th patent in Israel. The technology has already been granted patents in countries like Japan, Singapore, South Korea, USA, Australia, New Zealand. The team has an additional 82 patents in different countries at varying stages of evaluation.

Dr Shroff began research on human embryonic stem cells in 1999 and is a global pioneer in human embryonic stem cell therapy. She is the first person to develop purely human embryonic stem cell lines using just a single, spare, pre-implantation stage fertilized egg from a regular IVF cycle. This was done in 2000 with the patient's consent, in full compliance with the regulatory guidelines. The same original embryonic stem cell line is still being used, without repeated need for fertilized eggs.

As per Dr Shroff, "Stem Cell drug research and development is particularly burdensome for scientists in developing countries, where resources are limited and the filing and maintenance of patents are very expensive."

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