Stem cell facility opens in Co Galway

Monday 27 January 2014 21.55

The first facility in Ireland licensed to manufacture human stem cells opened in NUI Galway this morning.

The development will mean some patients suffering from certain diseases will be able to access clinical trials of stem cell therapies.

Stem cells are human cells that can develop into many types of tissue.

As a result, scientists are increasingly studying their potential for regenerating diseased or damaged tissue in people suffering the effects of certain illnesses, such as heart attacks, stroke, arthritis or diabetes.

Before they can be used widely in humans such therapies must undergo extensive clinical trials.

The first Irish licence to manufacture stem cells for this purpose was granted to the Centre for Cell Manufacturing Ireland at NUIG.

The custom-built facility will take small samples of bone marrow from adult donors and culture them in a specially designed laboratory to make billions of stem cells.

The cells will then be injected back into the donor or other patients as part of clinical trials.

The first of those trials will investigate their use in the treatment of diabetes patients who are suffering reduced blood flow to lower limbs, a symptom that often results in amputations.

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Stem cell facility opens in Co Galway

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