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Muscat: An Iran-based stem cell technology firm has received a positive response from the private and the government sector, to launch their activities in Oman, said a representative of the firm.

"We have received a positive response and many enquiries are coming. We may be able to set up a stem cell technology research institute and a cord blood bank here in Oman," said a representative from Royan Institute.

Royan Institute is a public non-governmental non-profitable organisation established in 1991 by the late Dr Saeid Kazemi Ashtiani as a research institute for reproductive biomedicine and infertility treatments. In 1998, this institute was approved by Iran's Ministry of Health as Cell-based Research Centre.


"Now this institute acts as leader of stem cell research and also as one of the best clinics for infertility treatment. It has 46 scientific members and 186 lab technicians. It has three branches, Royan Institute for Stem Cell Biology and Technology (RI-SCBT), Royan Institute for Reproductive Biomedicine (RI-RB) and Royan Institute for Biotechnology (RI-B)," added the representative.

"Royan Cord Blood Bank, which was founded in 2005 under the institute, has covered the preliminary steps including storing more than 33,000 samples in its public and private banks and opening branches in more than 22 cities nationwide," said the representative while adding that if everything goes according to plan, they will be able to set up their branches, especially cord blood 
banks in Oman.

Meanwhile, a representative from Malaysia Healthcare Travel Council (MHTC) said that the council has plans to have tie-ups with hospitals in Oman.

"We are having initial level talks. Soon, we may be able to have tie-ups with hospitals in Oman," said Kavitha Mathuvay, manager for market development at MHTC.

"There's an encouraging market growth in Oman. The average since 2010 is almost 50 per cent," said Mathuvay.

For the second time this year, officials from the Malaysia Healthcare Travel Council are visiting Oman to promote Malaysia as a potential destination for medical services. 

The delegation, which also includes representatives from hospitals and three doctors, is participating in the 4th Oman Health Exhibition and Conference. 

"In 2012, there were approximately 1000 Omani patients in Malaysian hospitals, whereas in 2013 there were 1300, meaning the number of Omanis seeking medical consultations and treatments in the Southeast Asian country rose by about 30 per cent," said the manager.

Health exhibition  ends today
Oman Health Exhibition that opened at Oman International Exhibition Centre on Tuesday under the patronage of Sayyid Sultan bin Ya'arub Al Busaidi, Advisor of the Ministry of Health for Health Affairs closes on Thursday.

Reporter can be reached at reji@timesofoman.com
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