Thailand is planning out to carry out tests to determine the efficacy of stem cell therapy in curing heart disease, local media reported on Sunday. The program designed to study 40 heart patients will be a joint effort by the Department of Medical Sciences, Mahidol University and the Cardiac Institute of Thailand.
Pongpan Vongmanee, deputy chief of the Medical Sciences Department, said Thailand did not have any guidelines on this new technology and was unaware of its usefulness. These new tests would allow them to frame new guidelines, he added. Bangkok Post quoted him as saying that the tests would last for two months and researchers would need a year to arrive at definitive conclusions. Pongpan felt that Thailand would make substantial progress on stem cell technology within the next five years. Pakdee Pothisiri, secretary-general of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) added that his department was working towards laws to control the export and import of stem cells. Stem cells could also be used as a regenerative medicine for other diseases such as diabetes and brain disorders.