Stem cell treatment in the UAE sees ‘favorable’ outcomes for coronavirus patients – CNBC

A man wears a protective mask as he exercises on May 03, 2020 in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.

Francois Nel | Getty Images

A new treatment that helps to relieve coronavirus symptoms could be brought to market in three months’ time if further trials go well, according to a researcher involved in the project.

“It’s very early to say at this stage,” said Dr. Fatima al-Kaabi, head of hematology and oncology at the Sheikh Khalifa Medical City in the United Arab Emirates. 

“We’ve been happy that our initial safety results are promising, that’s why we’re heading into the next phase, of effectiveness of this treatment,” she told CNBC’s Hadley Gamble on Monday.

“If all … went well and it worked well, then I would propose … three months’ time,” she said, when asked how quickly the treatment, which was developed by doctors and researchers at the Abu Dhabi Stem Cell Center, could reach the market.

To date, there are no known vaccines or specific antiviral medicines against Covid-19. U.S. health officials say developing a vaccine will take at least 12 to 18 months.

The UAE has 14,163 cases and 126 deaths due to the coronavirus, based on data from Johns Hopkins University.

The remedy uses a “minimally invasive” method where a Covid-19 patient’s stem cells are extracted, activated and turned into a fine mist to be inhaled. This alleviates symptoms such as shortness of breath and possibly coughing, said Dr. al-Kaabi.

“It is hypothesized to have its