Kuala Lumpur, 25 February 2015 – The World Islamic Economic Forum Foundation (WIEF) through its WIEF Education Trust (WET) organised a Global Discourse on Regenerative Medicine to enhance understanding and build bridges between various factions of our global community on current scientific and technological issues of importance to the Muslim World.

Regenerative medicine represents a new paradigm in human health, with the potential to resolve unmet medical needs by addressing the underlying causes of disease. It translates fundamental knowledge in biology, chemistry and physics into materials, devices, systems and a variety of therapeutic strategies which augment, repair, replace or regenerate organs and tiessues. There are over 60,000 stem cell transplants annually performed worldwide for the treatment of oncology and blood-based disorders. It was estimated that in 2012, cell therapy products distributed by bio-therapeutic companies generated over $900 million with 160,000 patients receiving treatments.

The 6th WIEF-UITM Global Discourse discussed, debated and deliberated on the importance and potential of regenerative medicine to the future of healthcare industry, success factors to stakeholders’ participation in the industry and opportunities in these transformative technologies.

The Hon. Tun Musa Hitam, Chairman of the WIEF Foundation, said at the opening session, “It is our sincere hope that through the integration of expertise from different parts of the world and stronger international academic collaboration, this Global Discourse would help to promote greater new ideas generated at the Discourse would be helpful in furthering education for action and in creating the right climate for such ideas to continue to bloom in the years ahead.”

“I believe, regenerative medicine is one of the most promising fields of biomedical research. By mobilising the human body’s self-healing powers, it offers hope for many patients with diseases or injuries that were previously difficult or even impossible to treat. Moreover, we expect regenerative medicine to provide new ways of compensating for deteriorating organ function in age-related diseases. This is particularly important against the backdrop of rapid demographic change in the world and the scarcity of donor organs.” said Tan Sri Dr Wan Mohd Zahid bin Moh Noordin, Chairman of WIEF Education Trust and Chairman of UITM.

Leading the academia-industrial discourse is, Prof. Dr Yoshiki Sawa, Professor and Chief, Department of Cardiovascular Surgery, Osaka University Graduate School of Medicine, Japan, who made a special presentation on his successful clinical trials on treatment of failing hearts using surgical approaches including stem cell transplantation, artificial organs, gene therapy and myocardial regeneration therapy.

Amongst the other experts who took part in the Global Discourse were:

  • Prof. Christopher O’Neill

Head, Centre for Developmental and Regenerative Medicine, Kolling Institute of Medical Research, University of Sydney, Commonwealth of Australia

  • Prof. Dr Salim Aziz

Professor, Clinical, Cardiovascular Surgery, George Washington University, Washington DC, United States of America

  • Prof. Dr Nafeeza Mohd Ismail

Dean, Faculty of Medicine, MARA University of Technology (UiTM), Malaysia

  • Prof. Tan Sri Dato’ Seri Dr Haji Mohd Ismail bin Merican

Pro-Chancellor and Chairman, MAHSA University & Consultant Physician & Hepatologist, Prince Court Medical Centre, Malaysia

 

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