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Nichi-In Centre (NCRM) tie up with Jeevan Stem Cell Bank
For Cord Blood Stem Cell Expansion Research

Chennai, 09 February 2009:

The Chennai based Indo-Japan joint venture institute NCRM (Nichi-In Centre for Regenerative Medicine) signed a MoU with Jeevan Stem Cell Bank, a unit if Jeevan Blood Bank and Research Centre, India’s first Public Cord blood stem cell bank in the not-for-profit sector, to jointly conduct research in the expansion of stored cord blood stem cells and related applications

(L>R) Dr. Saranya Narayan, Dr. P. Srinivasan, Honourable Mr.Kazuo Minagawa and Dr. Samuel Abraham

Dr.Saranya Narayan, Medical Director of Jeevan Stem Cell Bank said: “until the last few years, stem cells derived from the umbilical Cord blood were mainly used to treat children with several diseases mainly Leukemias (Blood cancers) and Thalassemia. A minimum dose of 2 to 3 x 107  cells per kg body weight of an individual are required for successful engraftment. This means for a successful transplant in a 25 to 30 kg individual, we need approximately 500 million cells. One cord blood stem cell unit contains an average of 500 million cells.   Therefore if required for an adult patient, one needs to identify two HLA matching units, which is a difficult task. Hence there is a compelling need to increase the number of cells in each unit of stem cells. This process is called expansion and this is done in the laboratory. The MoU signed today will help Jeevan and NCRM to collaborate in this field. The project will use NCRM’s expertise in nanotechnology and tissue engineering.”

While explaining the accomplishment of NCRM, its Director Dr Samuel Abraham said “NCRM is an Indo-Japan joint venture institute and our core strength are cell culture and tissue engineering using biomaterials and nanotechnology. In vitro expansion of several human tissues such as cornea, chondrocytes, hepatocytes we have accomplished without using biological materials and expensive laboratory reagents. Similarly, we propose to expand the cryopreserved cord blood stem cells also, which will make the expanded cells safer and affordable to our patients. With such accomplishment, instead of one unit of cryopreserved cord blood stem cell being used for one patient, we could use for more than one patient or to the same patient several times as deemed necessary”

The consul general of Japan, Honourable Mr.Kazuo Minagawa lauded the effort of the two institutions in taking this initiative for a public cause and assured all possible support by his office.

Dr. P. Srinivasan, Managing Trustee of Jeevan Blood Bank and Research Centre, requested the Consul General to help patients in India by facilitating collaborative research in this field with the Japanese hematologists and researchers who have vast experience in the research and clinical application of umbilical cord blood derived stem cells in blood cancer and related diseases.

Salient Features of this Collaboration:

  1. NCRM and Jeevan are forging an alliance to use the expertise and infrastructure of each other’s organizations for mutual benefits. Jeevan has cryopreservation and Immunophenotyping facilities and equipments whereas NCRM has the technology and expertise for stem cell isolation, expansion and clinical application
  2. Jeevan being the first public cord blood bank in India in the not for profit sector, NCRM will support it by jointly conducting research on expansion of Umbilical cord blood stem cells which can benefit many patients with blood cancers
  3. NCRM will use the advanced laboratory and storage facilities of Jeevan Stem Cell Bank for testing the quantity and quality of stem cells derived from adult bone marrow cells and to cryopreserve them
  4. This collaboration will also pave the way for collaboration with Japanese Hematologists who have vast experience in the clinical application of umbilical cord derived stem cells in Leukemias and related hematological disorders.


*"Nichi" stands for Japan and "In" stands for India. This institute started on an Indo-Japan collaboration now has spreaded further with global alliances
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