From the Telegraph: "India's first set of government-approved clinical trials of stem cells on patients with chronic obstructive lung disease, diabetes, liver cirrhosis and osteoarthritis are likely to begin in five cities in April this year. A Bangalore-based company, Stempeutics Research, has received approval from the country's drug regulatory agency to evaluate the efficacy of its stem cells on these four incurable diseases after safety assessments over the past year on patients with cardiovascular disease. The efficacy - Phase II - trials are likely to begin on small groups of volunteer patients offered the experimental treatment in collaborating hospitals in Bangalore, Kochi, Delhi, Mangalore and Manipal, a senior Stempeutics official said. Each volunteer patient will receive a dose of mesenchymal stem cells derived from the bone marrow of healthy persons. The stem cells, coaxed to proliferate in a broth of laboratory biochemicals, will be injected at the site of illness - the pancreas, the liver, the lungs, or the bone - where they are expected to stimulate resident stem cells and regenerate the damaged or lost tissue. While private and even government hospitals have in the past offered stem cell therapy to patients with intractable conditions, the proposal by Stempeutics is the first with formal approval from regulators for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), diabetes, liver cirrhosis and osteoarthritis."