International center for cell technologies to open in Belarus in 2015
September 20, 2013
Belarus-Russia joint venture International Scientific Medical Center – Cell Technologies will become operational in Belarus in 2015, Director of the Institute of Biophysics and Cell Engineering of the National Academy of Sciences of Belarus Lyudmila Dubovskaya told reporters on 19 September, BelTA has learnt.
“Now the Institute of Biophysics and Cell Engineering is working on two important projects: the project to set up advanced and competitive production of stem cells that will meet international requirements and the project to start using stem cells in medical treatment at the Belarus-Russia joint venture International Scientific Medical Center – Cell Technologies,” Lyudmila Dubovskaya said.
The joint venture will introduce Belarusian and Russian cell technologies into medical practice. The center will be established by the Institute of Biophysics and Cell Engineering and Minsk Teaching Hospital No. 9 (on the part of Belarus) and the Russian venture company EurAsEC Center for Information Technologies (on the part of Russia).
Research supervisor of the Union State program Stem Cells Igor Volotovsky noted that the center will implement the second Union State program titled Regenerative Medicine that will be the continuation of the Stem Cells program. The Regenerative Medicine program is estimated at about RUB1 billion.
The current program Stem Cells is designed for 2011-2013 and is structured into five parts: separation and standardization of stem cells obtained from bone marrow and adipose tissue, study of stem cells obtained from umbilical blood, development of technologies to treat diseases of peripheral and central nervous systems, musculoskeletal diseases and cancer. The budget of the program is estimated at RUB120 million.
The scientists of the Center for Cell Technologies set up by the Institute of Biophysics and Cell Engineering in 2010 have gained experience in obtaining and accumulating highly resilient stem cells. They have developed methods to get colonies of mesenchymal stem cells from bone marrow, adipose tissue and stem cells from olfactory epithelium, as well as methods to separate and cultivate pancreatic islet cells and methods to control the quality of cell cultures.
Lyudmila Dubovskaya informed that pancreatic islet cells were used to successfully treat ten people diagnosed with type 1 diabetes. Belarusian scientists have also developed a technology to treat experimental infarction on animal models using mesenchymal stem cells obtained from bone marrow. They have also introduced a method to treat trophic ulcers using autologous mesenchymal stem cells obtained from adipose tissue. In the future stem cells will be used to treat other diseases, too.
Stem cells are undifferentiated cells that can turn into specialized cells of various body tissues. They can act as a repair system of the body replenishing adult tissues. The European Union and the United States remain the leading producers of stem cells.\