A new research and treatment centre that will specialise in stem cell therapy is set to open in Queenstown before the year is up.

The world-class centre will be the first of its kind in New Zealand and is likely to boost the region’s popularity as a destination for medical tourism and sports rehabilitation.

Speaking at the New Zealand College of Appearance Medicine Conference in Queenstown earlier this month, industry expert Professor Richard Boyd said Queenstown was at the forefront of platelet rich plasma therapy in New Zealand and was an “obvious choice” to expand into stem cell therapy.

“Stem cell therapy to heal sports and other injuries has proven to be a great success in clinical trials in the USA and UK, and it’s our aim to ensure this leading edge therapy is available in New Zealand.

“Within the year we will be bringing a combination of stem cell therapy and platelet rich plasma therapy to Queenstown, making it the only centre in the country to offer this treatment.

“The Queenstown stem cell clinic will be an important player in a multi-centre consortium working in tandem worldwide to improve patients’ lives,” Professor Boyd said.

Stem Cell Therapy differs from PRP as it introduces new adult stem cells into damaged tissue in order to treat disease or injury. The stem cells are grown outside the body and then transplanted into the body.

“It’s an exciting development for Queenstown, New Zealand and the field of stem cell technology,” he said.