Doctors at Abu Dhabi Stem Cells Center have performed the region’s first successful bone marrow transplant on a patient suffering from Multiple Sclerosis. Image Credit: ADM

Dubai: Doctors at Abu Dhabi Stem Cells Center, part of PureHealth Group, have performed the region’s first successful bone marrow transplant on a patient suffering from Multiple Sclerosis (MS), highlighting Abu Dhabi’s growing position as a health care centre of excellence and a life sciences hub.

The significant achievement in bone marrow transplantation, performed under the Abu Dhabi Bone Marrow Transplant (AD-BMT) programme, demonstrates a major advance in cell therapy and regenerative medicine capabilities to treat a range of diseases, including cancer and immune disorders.

Doctors at ADSCC performed the region’s first autologous hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (AHSCT) on a patient with MS earlier this month and the patient has since reported an improvement in her overall condition.

Immune system ‘reset’

According to a statement by Abu Dhabi Media Office, the treatment, developed by the ADSCC, aims to ‘reset’ a person’s immune system and can be used for those with relapsing forms of MS.

The transplant success follows ADSCC’s ground-breaking work supporting Covid-19 patients during the pandemic, for which the centre was commended by Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General of the World Health Organisation (WHO), for its cutting-edge Covid-19 treatments. These included UAECell19, which ADSCC launched in 2020 and was used to treat thousands of Covid-19 patients, helping to regenerate lung capacity through stem cell therapy.

Established in 2020, ADSCC’s Abu Dhabi Bone Marrow Transplant (AD-BMT) programme was designed as a comprehensive program to provide autologous and allogeneic HSCT for adults and children as well as implementing different forms of cell therapies such as adoptive cell transfer. The AD-BMT program team at ADSCC, in collaboration with the neurology team at the centre, carried out the treatment on the MS patient, led by Dr Fatima Al Kaabi, AD-BMT Program Director.

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Landmark treatment

Commenting on the landmark treatment, Dr Al Kaabi said: “At ADSCC, we are committed to ensuring the AD-BMT program meets the highest standards of quality and patient satisfaction at all steps of the process, including treatment, aftercare, and follow-up. With this new treatment, we have scaled our world-class capabilities, which represents hope and aims to improve the quality of life for everyone.”

Dr Yendry Ventura, CEO of ADSCC, said: “We are extremely proud of our achievement at the Abu Dhabi Stem Cells Center to become the first centre in the region to perform the BMT on a MS patient. It fills us with great pride to make such a life-saving treatment here in Abu Dhabi. We are thankful to the vision of the UAE’s wise leadership and the support of PureHealth management in making this possible.”

Five decades of progress

According to Shaista Asif, Group Chief Operating Officer of PureHealth Group: “The launch of the revolutionary bone marrow transplantation on a MS patient right here in the UAE could not have come at a more opportune time, as we mark five decades of progress across all fields in the UAE.”

ADSCC continues to provide advanced treatment like extracorporeal photopheresis treatment in the UAE and is the only centre with two open clinical trials under PureHealth Group. To date, 13 cancer patients and one MS patient have been treated by ADSCC under the AD-BMT program.

ADSCC focus

The ADSCC is a highly specialised health care centre focused on cell therapy and regenerative medicine techniques. ADSCC was founded in March 2019 to meet growing domestic and regional demand for highly specialised medical services and treatments. The Center primarily focuses on processing, characterising, and storing cell products for clinical applications such as regenerative medicine, hematopoietic stem cell transplantation and cell therapy.