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Translational Research in Stem Cell Therapy: A Successful Story of Singapore-based CellResearch Corp

Speaker: 
Dr. Phan Toan Thang
Date: 
Fri, 28/10/2016 - 4:00pm to 5:30pm
Location: 
CA2DM Theory Common (S16-06)
Host: 
Prof. Barbaros Oezyilmaz
Event Type: 
Seminars

“Prof. Phan’s talk is part of a monthly workshop with clinicians organized jointly with Prof. C. N. Lee , Director of the Heart Institute (NHG), to explore how 2D materials can address urgent needs in biomedical research. Exciting development of new materials has opened up novel possibilities in medical applications. The clinical needs are varied. Major areas need better materials: e.g. Non clotting surfaces which are bio-compatible, able to withstand shear stress forces of blood flows, able to tolerate binding if needed; materials which can be implanted into 2mm diameter coronary arteries without causing scarring reaction, with no tissue ingrowth; materials that can prevent bacteria from fouling or colonising implanted devices or catheters. Stents used in the airways, intestines bile ducts, brain cavities that remains open for longer periods. Through regular interactions between clinicians and material engineers, it would be possible to come to closer understanding of the needs and the options available. This series of talks aim to set up structures in collaboration, development, testing, refinement, animal and clinical trials, product development, and reaching the patients by commercialization. Q&A (4.45pm - 6.00pm) Prof Lee and Prof. Phan will stay after the talk to answer discuss with interested students, postdocs and PI potential areas of collaborations between the various groups at NUS.”

Abstract

Bringing stem cell therapy research from lab to bedside and market faces many challenges ranging from ethical and religious controversial, healthcare regulation, high standard bio-manufacturing  to patient affordability or insurance reimbursement. Taking all these points into consideration, it appears that stem cells derived from human umbilical cord membrane tissue or CLSC are the ideal source of stem cells that can make translational stem cell therapy happen in reality. Every month, tens of thousand of umbilical cord tissue units are collected and cryopreserved in US, EU and Asia together with cord blood for future use as the source of autologous stem cell transplant . With regards of allogenic stem cell therapy, freely donated umbilical cord tissue samples are easily and inexpensively collected and qualified in the Colorado Cord Blood Bank. With billions of stem cells isolated from a single cord membrane tissue at low passages in FDA-licensed GMP Stem Cell Facility in Colorado, the cost of CLSC products can be potentially lower and make more affordable to healthcare receivers.

Translational stem cell therapy is an expensive game and highly capital intensive. To keep it sustainable and make it profitable is another big challenge. Over 30 mins of presentation and discussion, the author will share with the audience his story to make CellResearch Corp become a most successful stem cell biotech company in Singapore with today valuation of $700mil. This seminar aims to enhance the interactions among 2D scientists and medical doctors for more future collaborations and success stories.

About the Speaker

A/Prof Department of Surgery, Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine, NUS. Founder Director and Group Chief Scientific  Officer, CellResearch Corp Group of Companies.

A graduate of the Military Medical University, Hanoi, Vietnam in 1991, Prof. Phan Toan Thang has had a strong interest in wound healing since the earliest days of his medical and scientific career. His interest led him to hands-on experience during his four-year surgical residency in Hanoi at the at the Army Hospital 103. Prof. Phan's commitment and excellence in laboratory research was proven when he spent two years at the prestigious Wound Healing Institute and Department of Dermatology in Oxford, England. 

He arrived in Singapore in 1997 to join the Department of Plastic Surgery at the Singapore General Hospital. In 1998, he met Dr Ivor Lim, and together they established the Wound Healing and Stem Cell Research Group focusing on skin and keloid scar biology. The Wound Healing and Stem Cell Research Group was the first group in the world to explore the role of epithelial-mesenchymal interactions in keloid pathogenesis, and is recognised today as one of the world leading groups in keloid and scar biology research. 

Prior to taking up his faculty position at the Department of Surgery, Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine and Faculty of Dentistry at the National University of Singapore, Prof. Phan completed two years of post-doctoral research at the Stanford University Institute for Stem Cell Research and Regenerative Medicine

Prof. Phan is author of more than 80 publications in international peer-reviewed journals, two book chapters, has more than 40 granted patents and serves as a reviewer for prestigious international scientific journals as well as local and international research funding bodies. His recent innovative research work is the discovery of a novel source of stem cells from the umbilical cord lining membrane with translational potential for regenerative medicine, tissue engineering and cell-based therapy.

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