MIAMI (WSVN) - Doctors at the University of Miami have received approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to begin a study involving stem cell treatment to help fight the coronavirus.

Dr. Camillo Ricordi and his team at UM’s Miller School of Medicine will be the medical professionals who will put the study to the test at Jackson Memorial Hospital in Miami.

“So far, the indication both from China and Israel are pretty remarkable,” he said. “In less than one month, we will know if the results are promising, and we are already scaling up production to do and treat many more patients planning for success.”

The treatment involves cells taken from the umbilical cord, tissue that is usually disposed of after child birth. The initial trial is set to begin next week with two dozen patients.

“When you infuse them in an IV like a simple blood transfusion, they naturally end up in the lungs, so that’s why we thought it was a perfect target and a perfect strategy to be tested in COVID,” Ricordi said.

Ricordi added that stem cells naturally fight infection and inflammation, and cells from one umbilical cord could treat as many as 10,000 patients.

“If this is as successful as we hope, we are already planning for success and expanding many more cell doses to provide those to other hospitals beyond the University of Miami and Jackson Health System,” Ricordi said.

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