India's first exclusive state-of-the-art stem cell transplant centre would become operational in the city by April 2006.
For setting up the centre, LifeCell, pioneers in cord blood stem cell banking in India, and Sri Ramachandra Medical Centre, a tertiary care multi-speciality university hospital have entered into a tie-up, S Abhaya Kumar, CEO, Asia Cryo-Cell Pvt Ltd which owns LifeCell, told reporters in Chennai.
While LifeCell would invest Rs 15 crore in the project, SRMC would be providing an exclusive 15,000 sq ft area in their seven-storeyed ambulatory facility at their premises, he said.
"The centre will be meant exclusively for stem cell transplants and will be conducted by experienced and renowned stem cell transplant specialists from around the world," he said adding, that intellectual property generated out of the centre through research would be shared by both.
The centre would initially focus on haematological and oncological ailments and expand to other areas in a phased manner. "LifeCell has committed layout of Rs 40-50 crore over the next 2-3 years on stem cell banking, research and therapy," he said.
"We want to make the therapy as affordable as possible for Indians. Keeping the cost low is therefore a challenge," he said.
SRMC's Dr Krishna Seshadri, said the tie-up allowed SRMC to be part of an "exceptionally evolving technology" as stemcells had the potential to be used in replacing defective organs in the future.