Russian Joint Research Program on Stem Cells: Expected Next Year

In Russia, stem cell research has been behind the rest of the world. Until now, that is. This new program will have a maximum budget of 120 million Russian rubles (about 5 million US dollars). The research will focus on three aspects of stem cell research: developing stem cell technologies and treatment for traumatic skin injures; diabetes stem cell therapy and the utilization of stem cells in treating cardio-vascular diseases, including heart attacks.

In Russia stem cell therapy technology is not as developed as it should be. This is due mostly to inadequate funding. The market volume of stem cell therapies in Russia is much smaller than in the United States and in Europe. Some Russian clinics and medical centers are performing human and animal stem cell transplantations, which are focused on the physical revitalization and rebalancing of hormones in the patient's body.

Belarussia, also known as White Russia, lacked a distinctive national identity until 1939, as for centuries its lands fell within the borders of several countries. Its scientists have developed effective techniques for the extraction and long-term maintenance of stem cells and are ready to share that knowledge with their Russian colleagues. Although in America the controversy over stem cell research remains heated, in Russia, these therapies are widespread and are almost exclusively associated with the cord blood banking; namely, collecting stem cells from a newborn baby’s umbilical cord

Presently, data indicates that only ten Russian companies are officially licensed to provide stem cell services. Basically, these companies are small entities that have been established at different medical institutions. In Russi, these companies are typically run by the individual doctors treating the patients and usually lack an international focus.

Perhaps this new joint venture will change all that.

Time and many, many stem cells will tell.