September 26, 2020

The Niche

Knoepfler lab stem cell blog

iPS cell human transplant story unraveling: video of Moriguchi at his poster & a poster summary

The strange, doubt-filled story that iPS cells have already been transplanted into human patients is generating a great deal of interest today even as Harvard officially indicates it never approved any such work.

According to the original Japanese newspaper report, Dr. Hisashi Moriguchi transplanted iPS cell-derived heart cells into patients, work approved by Harvard.

The story is starting to unravel, but many key questions remain.

iPS cell transplant Moriguchi

Video of Moriguchi at his poster on the alleged transplant work can be seen here with a screen shot above.

Several sources have told me that Moriguchi’s poster does indeed seem to indicate he did iPS cell transplant work in patients. A summary of the poster:

The summary says it was a randomized, placebo
controlled study of patients with LV EF of <35% and likely candidates
for CABG.  Patients received either 30 iPS or placebo injections
around the akinetic area for total volume of 6mL.  All received an
ICD.  Total number of patients was 12, 6 each.  Changes in EF were
4.1% and 41.5% in placebo and iPS groups respectively.  No arrhythmic
events.  6-month rates of major adverse events were not different.
Conclusion: autologous iPS derived cardiomyocytes w CABG improved
function in patients with low LV function.

Did this unapproved stem cell clinical work actually occur? If so, what are the repercussions of the work being apparently unapproved? How were the patients recruited? Where did the work take place?

Stay tuned as this weird story evolves.