Iran developing stem-cell therapy for coronavirus: Tasnim news agency

People in protective clothing walk past rows of beds at a temporary 2,000-bed hospital for COVID-19 coronavirus patients set up by the Iranian army at the international exhibition center in northern Tehran, Iran, on Thursday, March 26, 2020. (AP)

Iran is developing a coronavirus treatment method using stem cells, according to a health ministry spokesman, the semi-official Tasnim news agency reported on Sunday.

“This is not a drug but a method which uses mesenchymal stromal cells (MSC) to treat coronavirus (patients),” Tasnim quoted Kianoush Jahanpour as saying.

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Jahanpour said the method is still in the study phase, the news agency reported.

The spokesman made the remarks after local media reported that Iranian stem cell scientist Dr. Masoud Soleimani, who was released from a US prison in 2019, developed “the first experimental coronavirus medicine,” according to Tasnim.

However, “Soleimani rejected the reports as inaccurate,” according to Tasnim, “explaining that he and his research team were using mesenchymal stem cells to modify the immune response in patients suffering from the virus.”

Soleimani said the clinical trial’s first phase results would be announced soon, Tasnim reported.

Iran has over 38,000 confirmed cases and at least 2,640 deaths.

Last Update: Monday, 30 March 2020 KSA 10:51 - GMT 07:51