Where is the field of IPS cells going and how will this impact the overall field of stem cell-based regenerative medicine?
Nobel Laureate Shinya Yamanaka, the discoverer of IPS cells, gave a really interesting recent interview to Nikkei that provides some fascinating insights into the future of this exciting technology that is now more than a decade old.
For simplicity I have indicated top highlights from the Yamanaka interview below as bullet points.
- More IPS cell trials are on track to start as soon as 2018 in Japan.
- Yamanaka said that trials for Parkinson’s, Spinal Cord Injury, and Heart Disease are amongst the planned IPS cell trials in Japan.
- There are also plans for clinical studies on cancer and kidney disease, perhaps further down the road such as 2019-2020?
- Immune rejection and cancer risks must still be evaluated, he said.
- There are likely to be important differences in the new studies versus use in the eye.
- CiRA has started working with Takara on QC of IPS cells and products.
- Their main focus for all these trials still seems on allogeneic use from IPS cell banks.
It will be interesting to see how trials in Japan develop versus those in other countries such as here in the US where I know of planned autologous IPS cell clinic efforts.