UoH startup innovates novel stem cell based Covid-19 treatment

HYDERABAD: A novel stem cell based treatment for Covid-19 patients, developed by a startup incubated at the University of Hyderabad, has emerged as an alternative for treatment of the virus.

The biotech startup, Transcell Oncologics, announced a cell based technology Hemato human umbilical cord (UC) tissue harvested and clinically processed adult Mesenchymal Stem Cells (MSCs) that has anti-inflammatory and repairing properties.

“From donated umbilical cord tissues, we have harvested and clinically processed adult MSCs that upon infusion in the patient’s body would reduce cytokine storm (a protein) produced by the virus. They decrease the inflammation in the patient’s body triggered by the virus,” said Dr Subadra Dravida, founder chief executive officer, Transcell.


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As part of this, two intravenous infusions, at a dose of 100 million cells per infusion, given 72 hours apart to the Covid-19 patients. Upon infusion, the MSCs, as part of their homing mechanism, reach the lungs first. “They support the regeneration of the damaged lungs. The Hemato UC-MSCs do not cause any adverse effects, easy to administer, proven to be safe for human application, with added benefits like no damage caused to any organ,” said Dravida.

While the effectiveness of this MSC based technology has been confirmed by Cell Transplant Centre, Miami Miller School of Medicine, Jackson Health System, Department of Public Health Sciences, USA, it is yet to secure approvals from the Indian Council of Medical Research. Meanwhile, the start-up has tied up with few city hospitals to conduct clinical trials of the technology on compassionate grounds.

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