ReeLabs received permission from the Central Licensing Authority to conduct the first and only trial in India using MSCs from placenta and umbilical cord tissue against COVID-19.
There are numerous publications that have documented the role of stem cell against COVID-19. Currently there are 23 stem cell trials in progress in US, UK, Japan, Germany, China, Spain, France and various other developed countries and hitherto published literature is extremely encouraging.
India is now all set to join this elite list.
In a significant, potentially path-breaking development, ReeLabs Private Limited, India’s biggest stem cell banking and research company, has been approved by Central Drugs Standard Control Organisation (CDSCO) and Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI) to conduct a stem cell trial against COVID-19, the first one in India.
ReeLabs to Conduct 1st Stem Cell Trial Against COVID-19
The trial is registered with the Clinical Trial Registry of India (CTRI) and will use intravenous administration of a patented stem cell product (mixture of umbilical cord and placenta derived mesenchymal stem cells) obtained from ReeLabs.
In Phase I of the project, out of the 20 patients selected in the moderate to severe category, 10 will get 100 million mesenchymal stem cells (MSCS) and the remaining 10 will get 200 million stem cells. The cells will be injected intravenously over forty minutes with a speed of 40 drops per minute.
ReeLabs has recently been granted two US patents that describe their technology in detail.
The reason why moderate to severe patients deteriorate clinically to become severely critical is due to the ‘Cytokine storm’. MSCs by the virtue of their paracrine mechanisms reduce the harmful effect of the Cytokine storm by: (i) reducing the level of the harmful pro-inflammatory cytokine TNF-alpha and (ii) increasing the level of the protective anti-inflammatory cytokines IL-10. MSCs also improve the pulmonary microenvironment and lung function by differentiating into different types of alveolar epithelial cells.
Dr. Abhijit Bopardikar MD, Director ReeLabs states:
“The sheer magnitude of the COVID-19 pandemic has sent shock waves throughout the world due to which ReeLabs has immediately recalibrated its priorities. We are delighted to be involved in two significant clinical trials against COVID-19, using our patented product (mixture of cultured placental and Cord derived mesenchymal cells) and using Convalescent Plasma. The world has started serious activity to overcome the devastation and India cannot be left behind. In fact we would like to lead the way whilst working out tangible solutions to treat multitude of both, actively infected patients of COVID-19 as well as patients suffering from post COVID-19 complications. The result of these trials shall be major milestones for the Asian subcontinent.”
Leveraging Stem Cells Against COVID-19
ReeLabs has offered to supply the patented stem cell product for free to all patients infected by COVID- 19 in the country even after completion of the study. Given that India has a population of 1.4 billion, representing approximately 18% of the global population of 7.8 billion, this is a major commitment.
Group ReeLabs, Mumbai, India is the largest, state-of-the-art stem cell enterprise of Asia covering over 5000 square meter of laboratory space. The enterprise has launched two FDA approved clinical trials.