Abu Dhabi: The Abu Dhabi Stem Cells Centre (ADSCC) will soon undertake new clinical trials to assess innovative treatments for diabetes and multiple sclerosis, two of the most pressing health challenges in the country.
The ADSCC is pioneering the OPERA trial for Type 1 Diabetes and the Objective Peripapillary Hyperreflective Ovoid Mass‐like Structures (PHOMS) trials for multiple sclerosis (MS). Both trials will explore therapeutic alternatives for treatment, and analyse the efficacy of intervention, the ADSCC said in a statement sent on Monday.
The UAE is known to have one of the highest prevalence rates for diabetes in the world, with the condition affeADSCC is pioneering the ‘OPERA’ trial for Diabetes Mellitus (DM) Type 1, and the ‘PHOMS’ trial for Multiple Sclerosis (MS). Both trials will explore therapeutic alternatives for treatment, and analyse the efficacy of intervention, the ADSCC said in a statement sent on Monday.ting 16.3 per cent of residents according to a 2019 report by the International Diabetes Federation (IDF). This high incidence of diabetes puts many residents at risk of developing other chronic health issues, while also increasing morbidity and mortality rates in the country. Meanwhile, MS affects 64 people out of every 100,000, which is estimated at almost double the global average in a research paper published in 2019 by the Sheikh Khalifa Medical City.
“The high rates of diabetes and multiple sclerosis pose a serious threat to the quality of life of the people living in the UAE. The number of diabetes cases is a real concern, and its potential consequences are compounded by a lack of therapeutic alternatives,” said Dr Yendry Ventura, immunology specialist and ADSCC general manager.
“The seminal ‘OPERA’ and ‘PHOMS’ clinical trials will provide new insights into the treatment of the diseases to both improve the quality of healthcare in the UAE and help raise awareness about the importance of leading a healthy lifestyle,” he added.
Protocols under review
Protocols for the trials are currently under review by the Ethics Committee of ADSCC before being presented to the Department of Health–Abu Dhabi for approval. In conducting the trials, ADSCC will use Extracorporeal Photopheresis (ECP), a United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved therapy for conditions such as Graft Versus Host Disease and Cutaneous T Cell Lymphoma.
With its extensive research expertise and technological edge, ADSCC is seeking to discover the mechanisms that underpin disease immunomodulation with this therapeutic alternative and its possible impact on the efficacy of its use for intervention.
Earlier in 2020, ADSCC became the first-ever research centre in the UAE to conduct a clinical trial with the Sentad-Covid Study in April 2020. And in July 2020, ADSCC launched the “Abu Dhabi Bone Marrow Transplant (AD-BMT)” programme, which treats blood cancer patients using stem cells. To date, the AD-BMT programme has already successfully treated four patients.