Tasnim – The spokesman for Iran’s Health Ministry said the country is developing a treatment method that could help prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus, or COVID-19, with the help of stem cells.
“This is not a drug but a method which uses mesenchymal stromal cells (MSC) to treat coronavirus (patients),” Kianoush Jahanpour said on Saturday.
He further underlined the method is a type of cell therapy that is still in the study phase.
The remarks came after some local reports said that Iranian stem cell scientist Dr. Masoud Soleimani, who returned home in December last year following his release from a US prison, has developed the first experimental coronavirus medicine.
Later, Soleimani rejected the reports as inaccurate, explaining that he and his research team were using mesenchymal stem cells to modify the immune response in patients suffering from the virus.
“I emphasize that this is a research-therapeutic approach,” he said.
The research is being conducted with the support of the Health Ministry at Shariati and Masih Daneshvari hospitals, Soleimani said.
The results of the first phase of its clinical trial will be announced soon, he added.
Iran’s Health Ministry said on Saturday that 35,408 individuals have been confirmed to be infected with the disease across the country, 2,517 of whom have lost their lives. As many as 11,679 individuals have also recovered from the virus.