Stem Cell Marketing: It’s all about responsibility



Any Stem cell marketing initiative needs to address two principal realities. One, the constraints in the form of unavailability of product approvals and the legal and ethical framework, and, the need to reach out to as many patients and doctors as possible to create trajectories of high growth in this sunrise field. The  unavailability of product approvals is particularly painful as without them, stem cell companies can’t effect product and service endorsements.

Statutory enactments like the Drugs and Magic Remedies (Objectionable Advertisements) Act, 1955 prohibit us from directly advertising or promoting our value proposition to the target market. Notwithstanding the patented research and noteworthy clinical track record, we still have to reinforce the fact that ours is an experimental therapy conducted in consultation with medical practitioners which only strives to improve the quality of a patient’s life suffering from specified conditions.At the same time, it’s critical to reach out to prospective patients across the length and breadth of the country to further our cause.

Given such a constricting framework, it’s only a deeper knowledge of the psyche, needs and aspirations of prospective consumers that can help direct any marketing initiative in this space to create measurable value for all stakeholders. Needless to say, this also calls for unconventional and innovative modes to reach out to the target audience.

At EPC, we have always relied on disease-specific campaigns which are highly focused interactive sessions on the therapeutic potential of stem cell transplantations. The patient gains valuable insights into the disease and is made aware of the pros and cons of the stem cell applications through customized counseling and literature.  Not only have these end-user awareness camps built the patient’s faith in our credible promise, it eventually becomes our best brand building platform. Our fit-for-purpose content pervades all forms – flyers, brochures, case study repository, disease-specific booklets, website information, doctor & patient info kits, thought leadership communication, stakeholder communication and media interaction. The thought articulation is tailored to the needs, sensibilities and sensitivities of the target audience. The emphasis is on reaching out effectively without diluting the corporate conviction.

Integral to our core is our Value chain ecosystem where we are creating a potent medical platform for product approvals through strategic tie-ups with institutions, hospitals and clinics. We have already tied up with AIIMS and Pushpanjali Cross Hospital. We have established EPC centers at vantage locations in West Bengal, Gujarat, Delhi NCR, Kanpur, Rajkot, Vadodara & Silliguri and representative offices at Delhi & Ghaziabad. Going forward, we shall set up centers in all principle towns and cities. 

The ultimate purpose is to create potent collaborations between EPC, which possesses proven clinical expertise in stem cell transplantations and healthcare providers, who seek to appropriate these progressive methods. The insights from this endeavour will also help pull patients and their kith and kin contemplating stem cell transplants with the help of reliable clinical information. Today, they have to rely solely on distant testimonials and instant recommendations. 

We are also creating a common platform to educate a larger group of doctors on the evolving paradigms, myths and realities of stem cell therapeutics. This initiative will more than enhance our ally base as patients invariably depend on their family physicians for credible advice. We are taking conscious steps to reduce the polarity between scientists, doctors and patients. Through our platform, we will help the scientific and medical fraternity to have an ongoing proactive dialogue with the community at large including patients and volunteers.

Our marketing strategy is aimed at establishing our USP in the market as the only providers with patented technology and proven clinical success. I am certain that our competitive edge and ensuing success milestones will eventually pave the way for much needed clarity and legislation on the codes of conduct.  This will only help the market in institutionalize a need-over-hype approach in stem cell therapeutics in the time to come.

Anti-aging: It’s about systemic rejuvenation, not sensational reversal


There’ re countless misconceptions and pre-conceived notions revolving around stem cell therapeutic applications in the anti-ageing space. Most stem from the innate human desire to stay youthful for ever, a wish as unrealistic as overcoming death. And contrary to popular perception, the desperation to beat one’s age is not a tinsel town obsession alone, it’s universal. We all want to remain young and vivacious and forever.

Precisely why it’s of utmost importance to acknowledge the facts and steer clear of the fiction when we talk of anti-ageing. Ageing is inevitable like death. It’s not a disease in the conventional sense but it can be home to many diseases if we are negligent about its untimely or abnormal progression.

When we talk of stem cell applications to counter the effects of aging, we essentially mean a Systemic Rejuvenation Program (SRP) aimed at enhancing quality of life and boosting our minds and bodies to be able to do the things that make life meaningful and purposeful.

To appreciate SRP in the right spirit, it’s essential to put the aging process under the microscope. Our bodily cells constantly restore themselves during our life span. For instance, erythrocytes last for 120 days after which they are destroyed and replaced by new erythrocytes formed from bone marrow stem cells. Intestine cells live for 8 to 10 days and consequently replaced by new cells. When progressive decrease in stem cells disturbs this restoration process, the aging process is induced.

Aging is either intrinsic or extrinsic. Intrinsic Aging, accounting for 10 per cent of our aging, is inherited by virtue of genes, a continuous process that normally begins with mid-30s. Extrinsic aging, on the other hand, is induced by external factors like sun exposure, gravity, and life style abnormalities like lack of exercise, poor nutrition, and alcohol & tobacco abuse. Whatever the type, symptoms generally include wrinkled skin, hallowed cheeks & eye sockets, Loss of fat and firmness, bone loss and pigmentation. When this happens prematurely, we should sense something’s seriously wrong.

Stem Cell systemic rejuvenation therapy is a relatively new but very effective breakthrough in the medical field. It is a radically scientific practice that helps improve quality and longevity of life. Stem cell based therapies have successfully demonstrated noticeably reduced signs of aging, improved posture, mobility & quality of life. Stem cell transplants repair damaged, dying or dead cells to restore functionality and vitality in the skin, organs and tissues. Tissue engineering aided by stem cell research and technology is now potent with rich therapeutic possibilities. Stem cell based therapies are now focused on engineering adult stem cells, umbilical cord stem cells and fetal stem cells to develop or morph into the type of tissue necessary to restore optimal function and quality of life.

The extensive benefits of stem cell transplants vary from case to case but generally assist in the regeneration and revitalization of core internal organs and tissues. The revitalization of critical organs like liver, heart, and kidneys and core systems like the haemic and lymphatic systems obviously result in enhanced quality of life and functionality generally reflected through radiant appearance, uplifting moods, high energy levels and better sexual drive. Main effects observed in patients after fetal stem cell transplantation encompass all levels of organization and functioning of human body, and are arranged in a systemic way.

Our study of stem cell biology has thrown new light on the aging process in the form of a pioneering stem-spaces depletion theory. Stem-spaces are the pool of regional stem cells (mesenchymal, neural, hematopoietic stem cells, the basal stem cells of the skin, intestine, endocrine epithelium etc) called upon to compensate cells loss in specific tissues in the process of human remodeling organism. Human remodeling is an uninterrupted renewal of cells composition of all tissues and organs by cells of stem-spaces throughout the entire lifespan in which all differentiated cells have limited term of life. In our opinion, particular regional multi-potent stem cells create the stem-spaces of an adult organism.

According to our theory, aging is defined as a permanent reduction in the size of the body stem-spaces. The number of cells in stem-spaces defines the level of proliferative capacity of each stem-space while the dimensions determine the rate of aging of organs, tissues and systems. Expansion of the body’s stem-spaces for increasing the longevity and quality of human life is possible through application of allogeneic fetal progenitor cells.

EPC has developed a comprehensive systemic rejuvenation program with fetal stem cell based applications. Most anti-aging preparations and programs are aimed at stimulating the reparative systems of the human body that already function at the limit. Achieving rapid but short-term stimulation of the body resources only complicates this problem in the future and, in our opinion, does more harm than good. EPC therapy doesn’t stimulate restorative resources, it substitutes them to help restore a range of vital body functions, adjust metabolism, balance hormones and improve the nutrition and blood supply of tissues and organs; that undoubtedly lead to improvement of work capacity, prevention of different diseases, skin regeneration and enhancement of life quality. Younger the person, more steady and enduring is the effect that can be retained for more than 10 years. Benefits of fetal stem cell transplants and tissue extracts include: Rapid and substantial improvement of mental and physical activities of patients, stabilization and improvement of mood, positive psycho physiological changes, restoration of suppressed haematopoiesis and restoration of the immune systemic competence.

Stem cells beyond Milestones – Miles to Go

The story of stem cells is the story of life itself…A fascinating account of countless, miniscule custodians of new life in the human body,

inherently capable of regeneration and repair …In the eternal fight against disease and disorder.

How and when did we first discover these micro champions?

There can be different answers to this primordial question depending on how we look at it…And there’s nothing right or wrong about any of them.

We could trace their history in Greek and Indian mythology in the miraculous regenerative abilities of umpteen deities and demons…

We could attach their discovery to the scientific literature of German biologist Ernst Haeckel…

We could say the Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombings proved the first spark when scientists were studying the fatal radiation effect on blood cells…

The finding could also be attributed to Russian academic Alexander Maximow whose pioneering theory established the multi-potency of blood cells…

Or we could also link the ‘first steps’ to a host of fascinating breakthroughs – either the first frog cloning experiments of the 1950s, the first bone marrow transplant for treating leukemia in 1969, the advent of in vitro fertilization in 1978 or the first umbilical cord blood transplant in 1988…

At EPC, we see the stem cell timeline not so much in terms of milestones tagged with ‘first ever’ claims. We regard it as an eternal voyage of earnest breakthroughs that has stretched the possibilities of medical advancement to unexpected territories in fascinating ways.

A crusade driven by pure altruism to serve the larger cause of regenerative medicine that, in the process, aims to:

…secure hope from the clutches of hype,

…eliminate the friction linked to the science, and,

…explode the fiction thrust on it.

A study of history becomes most fruitful if it helps in introspection. We definitely cherish every single milestone in the glorious history of regenerative medicine, but our mind is transfixed on every single possibility of a collaboration or co-creation to help establish stem cell transplantation as an effective mainstream clinical application for the treatment of disease and disorder and improvement of life quality and longevity.

Miles to Go…

Medical Tourism – Story of Evolving Paradigms

Medical Tourism is an emerging and evolving subset of the health care industry which can be defined as “Receiving medical treatment in a destination different from the native country which provides high quality and cost effective care and cure”

Contrary to popular perception, the ‘care and cure’ extends way beyond cosmetic procedures to include intricate surgeries and stem cell transplants as well. In fact, with this sunrise sector expanding its roots and branches across the globe, medical tourism will increasingly cater to high end medical treatments and services, both in complexity and advancement. It goes without saying that some of the medical tourism hubs will grow faster than the rest on the wings of proven expertise, better resources, quality service and cost effective rates. The global medical tourism market is currently believed to be growing at a CAGR of 9% but the continued momentum is likely to up the growth by leaps and bounds.

India’s hope lies in its inherent scope – whether in terms of geography, skilled resources, amicable culture or cost effective rates. At the same time, India needs to rise to the occasion vis-à-vis Latin American and Southeast Asian countries, especially in respect of critical areas including:

• Mitigating risk of malpractices and undue litigation
• Streamlined allied services including travel, accommodation and insurance
• Well defined and hassle-free regulatory environment
• Minimal involvement of Third party players

If India does address the challenges on major fronts, the hope will indeed be fueled by the scope in the coming years. Today, the popular treatment options for medical tourists coming to India include Alternative Medicine, Bone marrow Transplant, Cardiac Bypass, Eye Surgery and Hip Replacement. But I have no doubt whatsoever that in the coming years, we can make this list as exhaustive as possible to include Cosmetic Surgery, Dental Care, Gender Realignment, Heart Surgery, Obesity Surgery, Oncology and Orthopedics, Organ Transplants, Cardiovascular Surgery, Stem Cell Transplants and allied high end procedures.

Of course, this transformation will call for substantial investments by the value chain of industry players. Among the critical steps would be:

• Accreditation from organizations to facilitate hospital or clinic selection
• Collaboration with global players to create worldwide brand identity
• Packaging follow-up care and coverage for medical tourists
• Initiating potent forums and platforms for doctor-patient interaction
• Value chain of clinics, organizations, institutes and experts to serve the larger cause

Let’s Stem the tide

Stem cells in India: Let’s stem the tide of chaos and confusion

Stem cell research, the world over, is perpetually caught in the intricate web of an apparent conflict. The promise of improved quality of human life has to constantly grapple with the intertwined question of safety, morality and ethics. It’s a chain of cascading effect actually. Empty sloganeering in the name of morality and ethics puts a freeze on healthy debate needed to study the pros and cons which in turn prevents the much needed legislation stipulating the codes of conduct and the dos and don’ts. The result is a chaos that, worse than slowing down the pace of advancement in this critical field, unknowingly helps unscrupulous providers work around the legal loopholes to promote their personal interests.

As a practicing geneticist, I firmly believe that the apparent conflict can be mitigated, if not weeded out, provided we take conscious steps to reduce the assumed polarity between scientific & medical fraternity and the community at large including patients and volunteers. Among other things, there’s a prime need for fueling healthy community debates on the ethical issues of stem cell research and application. At the same time, we need potent collaborations between institutes who possess proven clinical expertise in stem cell transplantations and healthcare providers who seek to appropriate these progressive methods. Needless to say, any collaboration in this critical scientific research will only enhance its methodical and financial foundation. It will also help acquire new data that could guarantee a greater level of confidence regarding the results achieved earlier. Needless to say, the insights from this endeavor will help furnish more reliable research information for patients and their kith and kin contemplating stem cell transplants that are otherwise forced to rely solely on distant testimonials and instant recommendations.

On the research and application side, it may pave the way for robust legal frameworks that will weed out the grey areas that mere “adherence to guidelines” tend to harbor. Most important, it may bring in much needed clarity for the demand side entities to be able to make a rational choice from among the various stem cell line purely based on its proven effectiveness in the context of the specific disease. This should jettison the needless rivalry between the proponents of different stem cell lines that needlessly mars the larger cause when stem cell clinics are reduced to stem cell shops.

Such a greenhouse of collaboration and co-creation may sound utopian at this stage but like anything else in life, the first few steps could gradually place us on a trajectory of progression. In the time to come, it could well pave the way for the worldwide recognition of stem cell transplantation as an effective clinical application for the treatment of a wide range of diseases and conditions, prophylaxis of certain diseases and improvement in quality and longevity of human life.

Why things need to be Measured !!!

We been ranting about reports and measuring performances, What is our objective behind this ? is the most important question that you have failed to ask and I have failed to answer. if we dont measure things we cannot determine our direction, A small correction is easier to make rather than waking up one fine day and realising that you are fallen way behind your schedules and targets. Measuring things will bring up some hard facts and open up some serious flaws in your work habbits, Some of them will not be pretty and will make you do things that you really dont like to do. I would encourage you to take this step and step up. We need to up our skill level, the competition is feirece and the only way we can surge ahead is if we have our fundamentals correctly in place. Imagine your constructing a building, The most important phase is making sure the foundations are correct. Imagine the foundtions are uneven, or the right mix of the concerete is not in place. You will never be able to errect the building. Setting goals is one thing but measuring your progress and working towards it requires committment. The current global conditions make it even tougher as the competition will become even steeper. Its good to have a roadmap in place with key markers in place, or else you may end up @ the wrong destinations. I agree making reports isnt the easiet of things. Firstly what parameters to consider are also not known and we just give up so easily. The most important thing is to get it started. Once on the road I am sure you will improvise. The intials can start with simply measuring the time spent vs productivity ? Also whats more important is to study dynamics and as and when you figure out relationships between different variables we need to identify and start measuring them. Measuring our activities will ensure a better understanding of our work, our shortfalls. which in turn will help you identify areas you need help on. Along with that you will gain clarity about how you could end up improving productivity. Improve productivity will help you to save your time and put it to better use. In my experience alone i can say that we have had a good amount of sucess my just using basic monitoring tools. In hindsight try and begin a coloaborative way of working towards in a more productive environment. I would want and expect an 100 percent cooperation as we look to improve the productivity and operations that are carried out in our company.