Scientists in the United Arab Emirates have developed a promising new experimental treatment for COVID-19 using stem cells.
It was developed by doctors and researchers at the Abu Dhabi Stem Cells Centre, which works on regenerative medicine. UAE’s Ministry of Economy has granted the ADSCC a patent for the invention, reported the Emirates News Agency on Friday.
The treatment involves extracting stem cells from the patient’s blood and reintroducing them into the body after activation. Stem cells are the precursors of all cells in the human body. They can develop into new specialised cells to replace old cells damaged due to disease.
For COVID-19 patients, the doctors hope to regenerate damaged lung cells and control the body’s immune system to prevent it from attacking healthy cells. During trials, the stem cells were given to 73 patients through aerosols to reach the lungs. The therapy was administered alongside conventional medical treatment.
The Emirates News Agency, the Saudi Gazette and Khaleej Times have reported that the patients were successfully treated and cured of the virus. None of the patients who received the treatment experienced any immediate adverse effects.
Clinical trials to determine the effectiveness of the treatment are still taking place and are expected to be completed in a couple of weeks.