China has identified stem cell research as an area that it can become a global leader in and is willing to invest to make this happen. Beike is a beneficiary of this policy, receiving support from Jiangsu government-backed China Medical City (CMC) to establish the stem cell site.
The 20,000 sq m site, called the Stem Cell Regenerative Medicine Industrial Facility of National Bio-Industry Base (NBPD), forms part of a multi-stage project to give China a central research zone.
Industry partnerships form part of this strategy. The NBPD gives Beike the capacity to process and store 1m stem cell samples, making it the largest facility of its type according to the company. This represents a significant expansion on Beike’s earlier 1,800 sq m, 100,000 sample site.
Beike broke ground on the new site in April 2009 and now it is operational, ahead of schedule, researchers will begin work. Using the processing, storage and clinical application development capabilities Beike intends to “produce the highest quality stem cell therapies” in the world.
"Stem cells are the crown jewel of medical research", explained Ying Song, the site’s vice president for medical, scientific and regulatory affairs. Song added research at the site will serve as a model for scientists around the world.
To advance stem cell research three main goals have been established for the site. Firstly, the facility will be involved in adult stem cell collection and storage. This will be supported by the establishment of international standards, such as ISO9001 certification.
By forming these working processes and infrastructure Song believes the site can work towards its third main goal – to patent and develop stem cell therapies into clinical practice.