Coronavirus: UAE stem cell centre treats more than 2,000 patients

An initial trial, led by Dr Yendry Ventura, has shown very promising results

A Syrian doctor works at the EWARN laboratory set up for the early detection of coronavirus cases in rebel-held Idlib, in northwestern Syria, on March 25, 2020. - The virus is the latest threat to the three million people who live in Idlib, many of whom are now reduced to living in camps without basic amenities in Syria's last major rebel bastion, where a fragile truce has largely halted the government's bombardment since the start of the month. (Photo by OMAR HAJ KADOUR / AFP)
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The Abu Dhabi Stem Cell Centre has now treated more than 2,000 patients suffering from Covid-19.

Experts at the facility announced on Thursday that 1,200 people had fully recovered from the effects of the virus.

ADSCC said it had succeeded in ramping up the number of patients it was treating from the 73 seen in its initial clinical trial.

Officials said the increase was the result of a major effort by staff given how significant the treatment appears to be.

A team of doctors and researchers at the centre, led by Dr Yendry Ventura, announced in May that they had developed a new treatment for Covid-19 patients.

Known as UAECell19, the stem cell therapy appears to help the body fight the virus and makes the disease less harmful.

The groundbreaking work involves taking stem cells from a patient’s blood and returning them, via a nebuliser, as a fine mist to the lungs.

There they help regenerate lung cells and improve the body's immune response by preventing an overreaction to the infection that can damage healthy cells.

Following an initial trial, researchers were able to conclude that UAECell19 reduced the duration of patient hospitalisation from 22 days to just six, when compared to patients who had received standard treatment.

Further analysis revealed that patients treated with the stem cells were 3.1 times more likely to recover in less than seven days than those treated with standard therapy.

"We separate a specific layer of cells from the blood," Dr Ventura told The National. "We're the first one to use these cells with this route with this method.

“We believe this way the cells can be aimed much better to the affected organs - the upper and lower respiratory tract.”