The National Health Service (NHS) in the United Kingdom is setting up a "stem cell factory" in Liverpool to offer treatments to people suffering from kidney failure caused by diabetes.

The NHS Blood and Transplant said that they plan to grow around 800 million cells from stromal stem cells or connective tissue cells which will be used to reduce inflammation of the kidneys. Stromal cells can potentially turn into different types of cells such as cartilage cells, bone cells and fat cells.

Health officials say that the stromal cells' ability to release protein will contribute to the treatment. Stem cells will be added to the patients' bloodstreams to stop or slow down tissue damage. They hope that by doing this, kidney transplants or dialysis will no longer be necessary.

"From the patient's perspective, the aim is that you can halt progression of the disease towards end stage kidney disease," said project leader Professor Timothy O'Brien.

O'Brien said that treatment for kidney diseases has a huge health care cost, with the NHS spending £1 billion pound or $1.5 billion dollars annually.

Patients with diabetes have high levels of sugar that can reduce the supply of blood to the kidneys, eventually killing off the tissues. According to the NHS, almost 75 percent of patients with diabetes suffer from kidney diseases.

The NHS first conducted a clinical trial involving 48 patients with Type 2 diabetes from institutions such as Belfast Health and Social Care Trust, and the University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust. To see if the treatment produces side effects, only a few of the patients were injected with the real jab while some were given the dummy injection.

"This is an exciting project for us to be involved with - especially as the treatment has the potential to lead to lifesaving outcomes for a major illness," said Dr. Eric Austin, head of Stem Cell Immunotherapy at NHS Blood and Transplant.

The NHS reports that in the U.K., there are 40,000 cases of death due to kidney diseases related to diabetes.

In the United States, over 75,578 cases of death due to diabetes have been recorded. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention also reported that there are about 47,112 cases of death due to kidney diseases.

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