Japan stem cells

Groundbreaking Organoid Vision Clinical Study: Takahashi Q&A

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Clinical trials using organoids are still rare and a Clinicaltrials.gov search for such organoid work largely brings up in vitro studies. A new clinical study in Japan where organoid material will actually be transplanted into patients is causing a lot of excitement. Masayo Takahashi (高橋 政代) is a pioneer in stem cell-based clinical trial work …

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Masayo Takahashi (高橋 政代): exciting vision work advancing including with photoreceptors

Dr.-Masayo-Takahashi-高橋-政代.

Masayo Takahashi is a leading stem cell researcher doing translational and clinical research on vision. She’s doing pioneering work on using pluripotent stem cells as a basis for helping patients with vision loss such as due to macular degeneration. She won The Niche’s Stem Cell Person of the Year Award in 2014 and a number …

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1st autologous IPS cell clinical trial for vision loss in the US

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The NIH announced the launch of the 1st autologous induced pluripotent stem (IPS) cell trial for vision loss in the U.S., focused on macular degeneration. The protocol is based on a solid foundation of pre-clinical animal studies: “Researchers at the National Eye Institute (NEI) are launching a clinical trial to test the safety of a …

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Japan stem cell clinical studies rapidly piling up

Shibata-et-al.-Cell-reports-2018-corneal-structures-made-from-hIPSCs

Japan is a leader in stem cell and regenerative medicine research, and in particular in clinical translation toward the bedside. Induced pluripotent stem cell (IPSC)-based investigational therapies are rightly an area of focus in Japan given their invention by Nobel Laureate Shinya Yamanaka. Small clinical studies based on IPSC have been initiated there for several …

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Japan’s dangerous gamble approving unproven stem cells for spinal cord injury

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There is real hope for treating spinal cord injury with stem cell-based therapies in the future. However, unfortunately regulators in Japan have taken a major misstep in approving a not-ready-for-primetime mesenchymal stem cell (MSC)-based approach to spinal cord injury. Their decision is dangerous and unwise. In a Nature piece (linked to above) by David Cyranoski …

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Some stem cell good news, stuff for debate, & cool pubs

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Sometimes we could all use a jolt of good news and cool science. Those of us in the stem cell field probably get tired at times of all the bad-ish, even if important news (like this from Michael Hiltzik of the LA Times) out there surrounding certain unproven stem cell offerings and also clinics that …

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Launch of Jun Takahashi IPS Cell Trial For Parkinson’s Disease

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A much-anticipated induced pluripotent stem (IPS) cell trial for Parkinson’s Disease reportedly will soon launch led by Professor Jun Takahashi. The news broke on Yahoo Japan, which included an unusual number of appropriately sober statements regarding the trial, even though it is an exciting trial as well, compared to most media stories on stem cells. …

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Japan stem cell oversight system too lax?

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The Japan stem cell and regenerative medicine oversight system has been designed to move investigational therapies forward fast, much faster than the systems in other countries such as the U.S. But how well is it working so far? It’s an important question both for that country and more globally as the Japanese system was touted …

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Japan conditionally approves new IPS cell-based heart study

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Where do things stand with IPS cell translational research? The newest development is that regulators in Japan just have given conditional approval to an Osaka University team to an induced pluripotent stem (IPS) cell-based study for ischemic heart disease. For years IPS cell-based products have been on-again off-again in active clinical study for macular degeneration, work …

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