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UKM and partners to enhance stem cell research

Image Credits: UKM, Press Release

The Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia announced that through the Center for Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine (CTERM) it will be collaborating with one of Malaysia’s leading active live stem cells provider and a laboratory equipment supplier based in Wales to enhance stem cell research, tissue engineering and regenerative medicine in providing alternatives to contemporary solutions.

The Vice Chancellor of UKM stated that such cooperation will be able to promote the latest research and technology products in the field to be brought to the community. As a research university, UKM has invited various parties to participate in collaboration either directly or indirectly, especially in conducting stem cell research and bring this research for clinical use.

With the technology and skills possessed by both parties, resources, data and information on medical research will be shared and produced as an added value, the Vice-Chancellor stated when delivering a speech at the Contract Manufacturing Agreement Signing Ceremony between UKM and the two agencies at a leading hotel recently.

It is hoped that through the collaboration, safe, efficient and effective alternative methods can be developed and produced through the sharing of expertise in their respective fields.

The agreement aims to facilitate the stem cells provider to use clean rooms with cGMP (Current Good Manufacturing Practices) at CTERM to produce stem cell products that are at a good level, quality and GMP (Good Manufacturing Practices) to consumers.

CTERM is one of the reference centres for research in regional tissue engineering and regenerative medicine. CTERM Cell Tissue Technology Laboratory is a laboratory that has an advanced clean room and is equipped with equipment that is constantly monitored and calibrated in a controlled manner.

The biotechnology company is the leading provider of active living stem cell companies in Malaysia, focusing primarily on the provision of stem cell therapy to leading aesthetic clinics and hospitals worldwide. The company also collaborates with pioneer researchers around the world in the regenerative medicine industry and is at the forefront in the development of advanced and advanced technology.

The promising future of stem cell research in Malaysia

Stem cell research in Malaysia is poised to develop quickly. In 2019, the global Animal Stem Cell Therapy Market size was US$31 million and it is expected to reach US$291.6 million by the end of 2026, with a CAGR of 37.3% during 2021-2026, one report found.

Another report noted that some skin, eggs and tissue samples are all that remains of Malaysia’s last rhino, Iman, who died last November after years of failed breeding attempts.

Now scientists are pinning their hopes on experimental stem cell technology to bring back the Malaysian variant of the Sumatran rhinoceros, making use of cells from Iman and two other dead rhinos.

A molecular biologist at the International Islamic University of Malaysia stated that he was “very confident” and that if everything is functioning, works well and there is adequate support, the task is not impossible.

The smallest among the world’s rhinos, the Sumatran species was declared extinct in the wild in Malaysia in 2015. Once it had roamed across Asia, but hunting and forest clearance reduced its numbers to just 80 in neighbouring Indonesia.

Iman, 25, died in a nature reserve on Borneo island, following massive blood loss caused by uterine tumours, within six months of the death of Malaysia’s last male rhino, Tam. Efforts to get the two to breed had not worked.

The Malaysian scientists plan to use cells from the dead rhinos to produce reproductive cells that will yield test-tube babies to be implanted into a living animal or a closely related species, such as the horse. The plan is similar to one for the African northern white rhinoceros, which number just two. Researchers in that effort reported some success in 2018 in producing embryonic stem cells for the southern white rhino.

The future of stem research in Malaysia is promising. What remains to be seen is how the nation will rally around its scientists and researchers to further develop biotechnology.

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