Mumbai-based Reelabs has now set its sights on Karnataka to expand its operations. The company has earmarked Rs.50 crore to establish a facility near Bengaluru for its research. This apart it is looking to set up a dedicated stem cell hospital here.
"We are looking at setting up a world-class stem cell laboratory near Bangalore with an initial investment of around Rs.20 crore by March-end 2015. We will require approximately 20,000 sq. ft. area for the same. The proposed laboratory will have the capacity to store 2 lakh stem cells at a time. We also want to set up a dedicated stem cell therapy hospital close to the laboratory with an additional investment of about Rs.20 crore. The balance of about Rs.10 crore would be spent on development of other facilities, relating to the therapy. Over next 12-15 months, ReeLabs is looking at appointing up to 150 skilled workforce in Karnataka," stated Dr Rohit Kulkarni, director, ReeLabs at a press meet here.
"ReeLabs is likely to go for an IPO within 5-7 years. It is planning an acquisition to enhance its capabilities and the reach," he added.
With over 80,000 births a day, India is poised to be the largest source for umbilical cord blood, a major source of stem cells in the world. It has been used in the treatment of around 100 diseases. Parents may choose to bank their newborn's cord blood against the possibility that it will be useful in the future, should the child or a related family member fall victim to a disease that is treatable by cord blood stem cells.
By 2020, the age of an average Indian is expected to be of 29 years as population of youth in India is expected to cross 50 crore. India is likely to become the world's youngest country with over 64 per cent of its population in 18-30 year age group by 2020. Thus, Indian stem cell industry, currently booming at about 30 per cent growth rate per annum, is expected to grow at a phenomenal pace in the years to come, said Dr Kulkarni.