Skip to comments.Reliance Life readies stem cell therapies
Posted on 07/01/2008 6:54:28 PM PDT by Coleus
Mumbai: Seven years after its inception amid much fanfare, Reliance Life Sciences, or RLS, is finally rolling out stem cell-based therapies in India, beginning with a treatment that can restore or improve vision. This is the first commercial stem cell treatment in ophthalmology in the country, said K.V. Subramaniam, CEO and president, RLS, part of the Mukesh Ambani-led Reliance group. The company, which has invested around Rs1,000 crore in the business, has lined up other stem cell therapies for cardiac infarction, diabetic ulcer, and stable vitiligo or leukoderma (a skin disease), among others, to be offered in clinics in the next few months. The aim is to break even by next year, said Subramaniam.
For the eye treatment, RLS uses cells from the limbusthe junction between the cornea and conjunctiva which is rich in corneal stem cellsto restore or improve vision in people whose cornea has been damaged by a burn or an accident. After clinical trials at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences in New Delhi and Aditya Jyot Eye Hospital in Mumbai, RLS has begun offering the treatment in these two cities through ophthalmologists. We intend to reach all eye hospitals in the country within a year, said Subramaniam. Its a fairly centralized model of delivery which is intended to reach all corners of the country. The RLS cell processing facility in Mumbai, with cGMP (global standard in good manufacturing practices) certification, will receive the limbal biopsy of the patient, excised from the normal eye. Stem cell grafts will then be created and sent back for transplantation to the eye surgeon treating the patient, who, RLS claims, will be trained for such surgeries.
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