Patients suffering from a range of debilitating illnesses, such as spinal cord injury, cerebral palsy, optic nerve hypoplasia, multiple sclerosis and ataxia stand to benefit from a new laboratory, established with a Chinese Government grant. Such a facility will put China at the forefront of the global race to engineer and reprogram human stem cells for positive medical benefit.
November 7, 2007 – SHENZHEN, China – Beike Biotechnology, (https://www.beikebiotech.com ), the leader in stem cell applications for medical treatment, has announced that it has formally established a world-class laboratory facility for the research of cell reprogramming and gene engineering, through a joint agreement with the Shenzhen Graduate School of China’s renowned Tsinghua University. The lab will conduct research on stem cells, the nuclear transfer and reprogramming of cells, monoclonal antibodies known as “magic bullets” for treating disease and other scientifically exciting cell engineering innovations. The aim of the lab is to establish a global research hub that will hopefully someday provide breakthroughs in the way medical science seeks to treat diseases like cancer, Parkinson’s, and many other debilitating ailments.
“We are already helping thousands of patients with our current umbilical cord stem cell treatments, but this ultra high-tech lab will bring us even closer to our goal of helping millions of patients improve their quality of life and will ensure that we have more advanced products in our pipeline four to five years out.” said Beike Biotech’s Chairman, Dr. Sean Hu. Detailed patient experiences with videos of patients that have been treated with Beike’s umbilical cord treatment can be found on China’s stem cell news website: http://www.stemcellschina.com
The 1,200 square meter laboratory will be housed in Beijing-based Tsinghua University’s special Shenzhen Graduate Campus located in this southern Chinese city that borders Hong Kong. Building on Beike’s years of experience in successfully using stem cells to treat humans with serious brain and nerve maladies, this designated “China Key Laboratory” marks the country’s entry into the current global race to find new stem cell therapies that can be applied medically. The USD $4 million grant will be spent purely on equipment and comes from the Shenzhen Municipal Government as part of a US$12 million grant given out in 2007 to encourage innovative technologies in Shenzhen.
Further grants from the government are expected to help cover the cost of running the lab and expansion. The lab is to be staffed by over 50 people, including 20 renowned Chinese Phd’s and well-known researchers like Dr. Zhang Yaou, who has published articles widely in Western periodicals, for example, “Nature Cell Biology” on her breakthroughs in research of microRNA and other cell building blocks.
“Dr. Zhang Yaou is a pioneer and our work with her will allow Beike to lead the world not only in clinical applications of stem cells but also in basic research. Outside of China, it is not easy to get a 20 Phd’s together in a first class lab focusing on stem cell research. We expect to have some breakthroughs come out of this and more publications in leading journals,” Dr. Sean Hu said.
Stem cells are the master cells that replenish all the body’s tissues, from skin and blood to the brain and heart. They have proven capability to assist in nerve and organ regeneration, enable tissue repair and restoration, and are even thought to be able to effectively treat cardiovascular diseases and cancer. Beike currently has seen significant success using stem cells to treat a variety of nervous system disorders for Chinese and International patients alike. Many of these conditions are still deemed untreatable using conventional medical techniques and account for an estimated 60% of gross mortality worldwide. While not currently possible, scientists in labs like the one being established in Shenzhen are narrowing in on the technology that may soon allow for the reprogramming of human body cells. This would allow for the potential to regenerate nerve cells to heal spinal cord injuries, create one’s own pancreatic cells to stop diabetes, or possibly generate cells of any other tissue type to treat whatever ails patients. This makes the successful application of stem cells of vital significance to human health and the medical field.
About The Graduate School at Shenzhen, Tsinghua University
The Graduate School of Tsinghua University in Shenzhen is an institute jointly established by Shenzhen City Hall and Tsinghua University to provide training for talent at the postgraduate level in science and technical innovation. The Graduate School of Tshinghua in Shenzhen is committed to the integration of teaching, research, and rapid commercialization of scientific discovery.