India forecasts fast-paced growth in stem cell research

Following the Obama administration's decision to loosen the purse strings on federal support of stem cell research, scientists at the Stem Cell Research Forum of India expect discovery work in the subcontinent to barrel ahead to an estimated $540 million next year with an annual growth rate of 15 percent.

"India is a cheaper alternative for research and clinical trials. The country is not too far behind the US in terms of practical aspects of stem cells. Many companies are eyeing India because of its huge population base and genetic versatility," said Karan Goel, founder and chairman of Stem Cell Global Foundation.

Vishwa Mohan Katoch, the director general of the Indian Council of Medical Research, said the council plans to develop new collaborations with U.S. institutions. "It's important to develop the public-private partnership in the field of stem cell research and therapy, as it has a direct impact on the translation of technology. You may see many such partnerships in future."

"There are several laboratories that are researching stem cells. A lot of this is tailored to address diseases that are important in the local context and this stimulates innovation," said Maneesha Inamdar, associate professor for vascular biology laboratory and stem cell laboratory at the Jawaharlal Nehru Centre for Advanced Scientific Research.

- read the article from Economic Times