The UAE is in the process of developing the region’s first Stem Cells Bank that will see the country become a stem cells tourism hub, officials announced at the first MENA Stem Cells Forum that kicked off at the Movenpick Grand, Al Bustan Hotel Dubai on Friday, March 18, 2022.
Dr. Rehab Al Blooshi, Acting Medical Director of Dubai Cord Blood and Research Centre – part of the Dubai Health Authority, said: “We already have a Stem Cells Bank within Dubai Cord Blood and Research Centre and we are discussing with other health authorities to develop a nation-wide Stem Cells Bank to strengthen this new scientific and medical innovation sector. It is in the process.”
Dubai Cord Blood and Research Centre offers collection and preservation of umbilical cord from new-born babies and preserves them for 30 years with a fee of around Dh9,000. This represents the first Stem Cells Bank in the UAE.
Officials also called for strong regulatory guidelines to regulate stem cells research, therapy, and practice as it sometimes falls into the grey area of nature, ethics, culture, and religion. Dr. Shahrukh Hashmi, Chairman, SEHA Oncology Council; Chairman, Department Oncology/ Hematology, Sheikh Shakhbout Medical City, UAE, said: “The stem cells industry needs strong regulation globally. We need strict guidelines for the industry to evolve ethically.”
Dr. Al Blooshi said a set of regulatory guidelines for the stem cells sector has been issued in the UAE a year ago – to regulate the sector which is evolving through clinical trials. “It is important to have a national registry of stem cells so that we could offer better research and treatment, as the industry evolves. The UAE is well ahead of others when it comes to regulation and ethical practice as we have seen the first regulatory guideline for stem cell research and therapy being issues in the UAE last year. We now need a regulatory regime for the entire Middle East and North Africa that will help develop a coordinated approach to the stem cell research and therapy.”
Countries from the Middle East and North Africa region are going to strengthen stem cells research in the coming years in order to reinforce research and benefit from stem cells therapies, experts said at the two-day MENA Stem Cells Forum that kicked off at the Movenpick Grand, Al Bustan Hotel Dubai. Organized by Great Minds Events Management (GM Events), the two-day conference and exhibition is participated by more than 250 delegates from more than 15 countries where more than 30 officials and experts gathered to discuss the latest scientific developments and innovations in stem cell therapy and associated areas.
The exhibition features more than 25 participants. The Middle Eastern countries are sharpening their focus on the US$467 billion global stem cell market that came under scrutiny at the two-day MENA Stem Cells Forum in Dubai. The global stem cells market is expected to grow at an incredible compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 25.5 percent from 2018 to US$467 billion by 2024, according to research by Market Watch.
This significant event takes place at a time when the world struggled to fight the different variants of COVID-19 viruses that disrupted global growth. Many experts look at stem cells research as a possible solution to tackle such pandemics in the future.
MENA Stem Cells Forum is supported by Dubai Health Authority, Zewail City, American Board of Regenerative Medicine, American Academy of Regenerative Medicine, and Association for the advancement of Blood & Biotherapies (AABB). The event has attracted more than 10 specialized media partners. Dr. Hatim Al Abbas – Acting Director, Dubai Cord Blood and Research Centre, UAE, says, “Working in the field of stem cells therapy makes you see the light shine again in those innocent eyes that have been exhausted by disease and then you realize that stem cells are like a miracle. Our meeting here on the land of Dubai, the land of achieving miracles, makes us work to make stem cell therapy of all kinds available to everyone.”
Stem cell therapy has become a significant and innovative scientific development giving hope to both health professionals and patients worldwide. The development of treatment methods has achieved great results globally, especially in the Middle East and North Africa, where stem cell therapy and regenerative medicine are fast-moving and expansive, and if progress continues at its current pace, the region could become one of the world’s centers for biomedical research. In fact, the size of the Middle East and Africa stem cells market is estimated to reach US$2.85 billion by the end of 2026, according to Market Data Forecast.
Press Release: MENA Stem Cells Forum