GANDHINAGAR - The Apollo Hospitals Group Saturday announced plans to establish a stem cell research institute in Gujarat. The Rs.60 crore (Rs. 600 million) project is expected to be completed by the year end.

The healthcare company has tied up with US-based StemCyte Inc, which specialises in stem cell therapy, for the project, according to a statement issued here.

The research facility will come up on 12 acres of land near the Cadila Pharmaceuticals factory on outskirts of Ahmedabad, Apollo Hospitals Group chairman Pratap C. Reddy was quoted as saying in the release.

Cadila Pharmaceuticals is also expected to participate in the stem cell research once the facility becomes fully operational.

Reddy said the company is also planning to establish five rural hospitals across the state and a nursing college near Gandhinagar.

‘We are planning to establish a total of 250 rural hospitals in the country in a phased manner. They will be called Apollo Reach hospitals. A total of 25 hospitals would be started immediately involving a cost of Rs.500 million,’ he added.