Chennai: On Monday, the Tamil Nadu Veterinary and Animal Sciences University (Tanuvas) signed a memorandum of understanding with Nichi-in Centre for Regenerative Medicine (NCRM) for the treatment of animals through stem cell-based therapy and regenerative surgery.
“This is the first such initiative in the country to provide stem cell treatment to animals. Initially diseases such as spinal cord injury and tendon injuries in animals will be treated through the clinical application of such research, and later extended to treat other diseases,” said Dr P Thangaraju, vicechancellor of Tanuvas. “This will not involve experimenting on animals. We will only perform clinical application of the technologies that have evidence,” said NCRM director Dr Samuel Abraham.
Two cell projects - the establishment of buffalo embryonic stem cell lines and mesenchymal stem cell therapy on induced mice skin and burn wounds - funded by the centre’s department of biotechnology are functioning at the Madras Veterinary College. “We will be using expertise from our biotechnology department for the clinical application,” said Dr D Kathiresan, director of clinics, Tanuvas.
Besides exchange programmes, the MoU will enable Japanese stem cell isolation and expansion technologies and nanotechnology to be employed to provide the treatment. It will enable the use of NCRM’s laboratory facilities for research and isolation of animal stem cells while the clinical application will be done at the Madras Veterinary College. Work on a separate laboratory for the isolation of animal stem cells will begin soon, Dr Samuel said.