UAE – Abu Dhabi Stem Cells Center (ADSCC), Kyoto University – Center for iPS Cell Research and Application (CiRA), and Rege Nephro have forged a strategic alliance to accelerate access to diabetes care.

Through a groundbreaking joint research agreement, ADSCC will work closely with Kyoto University and Rege Nephro to offer advanced cellular therapy options for people with diabetes.

In a press release, Professor Dr. Yendry Ventura, Chief Executive Officer of ADSCC, Adjunct Professor at UAE University, and Research Scientist, stated: “The robust collaboration between the UAE and Japan transcends borders and languages, manifesting in a shared dedication to advancing healthcare.”

By capitalizing on existing strengths of these three entities, the collaboration is poised to revolutionise diabetes care by developing a new innovative treatment using pancreatic beta cells derived from human induced pluripotent stem cells (iPS cells).

It is noteworthy that iPS cells are obtained from skin or blood cells. These cells are then reprogrammed (genetically modified) in highly advanced laboratories to create cells that replicate the tissue affected by diabetes.

At ADSCC, we are on a mission to make a profound impact in the field of diabetes care and cellular therapy globally. In pursuit of this ambitious journey, we have consciously embarked on this strategic partnership with CiRA and Rege Nephro,” outlined Dr. Ventura.

To facilitate this joint revolutionary research mission, an ADSCC laboratory was launched at the premises of Kyoto University in Japan.

The UAE-Japan joint clinical research will focus on developing iPS cell-derived pancreatic beta cells with enhanced therapeutic efficacy through genetic modifications.

The joint research is anticipated to offer cell therapy options for patients with type 1 diabetes, in addition to screening and testing potential drugs for type 2 diabetes to develop novel approaches for managing type 2 diabetes.

In alignment with the vision of the UAE’s leadership, ADSCC will spearhead the international collaboration aimed bringing cutting-edge regenerative medicine and cellular therapies to the Middle East and North Africa.

Commenting on the collaboration, Professor Kenji Osafune, Head of the Department of Cell Growth and Differentiation at CiRA at Kyoto University, and Founder of Rege Nephro, said: “Partnering with ADSCC in this joint research will enable us to apply the foundational technology developed in research across the Middle East and North Africa.”

Professor Kenji Osafune further stated that the joint research will establish a pivotal hub for advancing regenerative medicine research through iPS cell technology in the Middle East and North Africa.

Moreover, the importance of this collaboration lies in addressing the significant global burden of diabetes, characterized by pancreatic beta cell dysfunction, which affects 537 million individuals worldwide.

The International Diabetes Federation (IDF) warns prolonged undiagnosed diabetes can have higher risk of diabetes-related complications, increased healthcare demands, and related costs.

Its complications, including chronic kidney disease, cerebral infarction, and myocardial infarction, pose substantial health risks.

The IDF reported that the MENA Region has the highest regional prevalence of 16.2% and the second highest expected increase (86%) in the number of people with diabetes reaching 136 million by 2045.

Based on the IDF reported data, the UAE-Japan joint clinical research will be essential in reducing the prevalence of diabetes in the MENA region.

This partnership serves as an ideal example of international cooperation, where our combined efforts propel us closer to achieving excellence in diabetes care for our respective populations and beyond,” underscored Kenji Osafune.

With the Department of Health – Abu Dhabi support in innovation and research, the partnership will pave the way for transformative healthcare solutions in the MENA region and beyond.

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