Dubai advances stem cell storage capacity, enabling access to regenerative treatment options

DUBAI. KAZINFORM Dubai Healthcare City, DHCC, announced on Wednesday the increase in stem cell banking services in the free zone with the opening of CryoSave Arabia's state-of-the-art laboratory that can store a million samples.

Stem cell storage enables the safe-keeping of 'master cells' - cells that can self-renew and develop into cells with specialised characteristics that can treat dozens of conditions including blood disorders, cancer, and cerebral palsy.

CryoSave Arabia in DHCC is the only private facility in the region licenced to collect, process, test and cryogenically store stem cells from different sources, WAM reports.

During the opening ceremony, CryoSave Arabia launched a 'Cost-Free Stem Cell Programme', enabling access to stem cell banking for families in need. The facility plans to enrol nearly 200 children in its first year.

Expectant families may be eligible if a family member has been diagnosed with certain cancers, such as leukaemia, or blood, immune, and metabolic disorders, such as sickle cell anaemia, which may require a stem cell transplant. Families may also qualify if their newborn is at risk for a medical condition, such as cerebral palsy and autism, for which stem cells are currently investigated as a potential treatment option.

Commenting on increasing stem cell banking capacity in DHCC and benefiting at-risk families, Omar Oumeish, Executive Director of Dubai Healthcare City Authority, the governing body of the free zone, said, "With CryoSave Arabia's new technologically-advanced lab, more families and medical providers will have access to advanced stem cells banking not only in the UAE but also in the region."

Oumeish added, "We believe that stem cells will play a very important role in future medicine and will benefit so many children in our community at risk for certain diseases. Our vision is that this program will inspire other medical institutions to follow and make preserving stem cells the standard of care for all newborns."

A growing body of published data suggests that a child's stem cells from the umbilical cord may play an essential role in helping the body repair damage to nerve and brain tissue.

Mai Ibrahim, Chief Operating Officer and Lab Director said, "Opening our new laboratory was an important step for stem cell storage in the Middle East. Due to unprecedented demand, we needed to vastly increase our storage facilities as more and more families become aware of the importance of stem cells in the fight against a whole range of diseases."

Ibrahim explained that CryoSave is only stem cell institution in the UAE to be accredited by the American Association for Blood Banks (AABB). She said, "If a sample is required in future for use in treatment in the US Europe, this is only possible if the facility has the accreditation from AABB. This is something we take very seriously and ensures that our families can go anywhere in the world for treatment, including the United States, and Europe."

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