Illustrative image (Source: VNA)
HCM City (VNA) - A stem cell industry in Vietnam is needed to meet the demand for stem cell applications in treatment and aesthetic procedures in the country, according to an expert.

This is an industry worth thousands of billions of dollars in which the country should invest, Dr Le Van Dong of the Military Medical Academy in Hanoi said.

Dong, an expert in the field of stem cells, spoke about promoting co-operation among clinical experiments on stem cells at a meeting held on November 14 in HCM City.

Professor Truong Dinh Kiet, Chairman of the HCM City Stem Cell Society, said that a draft for the city's development strategy until 2020 includes a call for a stem cell industry.

“Modern facilities with international standards for research and production are needed for development of the industry,” Kiet said.

Pharmaceutical products from stem cells would be produced.

Human resources for stem cell research also will be developed, he said, adding that by 2020, there will be 1,500 researchers.

Currently, the country has only 200 stem cell researchers.

A network including 10 universities, five research institutes, 20 hospitals and six companies will be set up by 2020.

The Stem Cell Application and Research Lab under HCM City University of Science has conducted research on stem cell applications in treatment including cancer, teeth and myocardial injury caused by ischaemia.

The HCM City University of Medicine and Pharmacy has conducted research on treatment of degenerative joints with stem cells.

Pham Ngoc Thach Medical University's tissue-embryo-genetics faculty in co-operation with Paediatric Hospital No.1's burn ward has used stem cells.

Under the draft, facilities for stem cell therapy at several hospitals in the city would be built. Thirty new treatment processes would be developed.

It is expected that a hospital specialising in regenerative medicine will be set up by 2020, and banks for stem cells will also be established.-VNA