DUBAI: Adult stem cell therapy is dubbed as the new healing force of the 21st century, much as the internet revolutionised the past century.

Now, UAE researchers have demonstrated they're in the leading edge of this breakthrough in medicine. Abu Dhabi-based doctors have announced pioneering work in stem cell therapy to repair lung damage caused by coronavirus infection. One simple yet fascinating aspect of this new therapy: it's administered through inhalation.

It's a potential "wow" moment for immunotherapy and regenerative medicine — the Abu Dhabi team sucessfully treated 73 COVID-19 patients, who were cured of COVID-19 before hospital discharge.

Numerous vaccine trials are undeway for COVID-19, but a safe and effective jab that can be used on a massive scale on healthy patients is at least a year away.

Speaking at a press conference on coronavirus updates on Saturday night, Dr. Fatima Al Kaabi, Head Hematology and ncology Department at Sheikh Khalifa Medical City in Abu Dhabi, explained the results of the stem cell therapy.

“At the Abu Dhabi Stem Cell Center, we are proud to work on developing a supportive treatment for COVID-19 patients which is undergoing clinical trials for the first time in the UAE. This is a national achievement,” Dr. Fatima Al Kaabi, who is part of the stem cell research team against COVID-19.

The announced treatment is supportive and not curative, she explained, and helps alleviate COVID-19 symptoms rather than eradicating the virus itself.

How many COVID-19 patients were treated with UAE stem cell therapy? Treatment was administered on 73 confirmed positive COVID-19 patients, and was considered a success, after they were cured of the virus by inhaling the treatment into their lungs after it has been "nebulised into a fine mist".

"The pioneering treatment is hypothesised to have its therapeutic effect by regenerating lung cells and modulating the immune response to keep it from overreacting to the COVID-19 infection and causing further damage to healthy cells." - Abu Dhabi stem cell therapy team