January 27, 2021

The Niche

Trusted stem cell blog & resources

Japan stem cells

2 min read

What’s better for stem cell trials such as for vision loss or Parkinson’s Disease: allogeneic or autologous cells? In a major shift earlier this year, the induced pluripotent stem (IPS) cell trial in Japan for treatment of macular degeneration (MD) switched gears from using the patients’ own cells (called “autologous”) to using banked cells from other people, termed “allogeneic”. Dr. Masayo Takahashi, the leader of this MD trial indicated the main reason was due to regulatory changes related to stem cells in Japan. This …Read More

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A patient in Japan has reportedly filed suit against a fat stem cell clinic and has won a judgement of 1.84 million yen in total (about $15,000 USD). The Tokyo District Court reportedly ruled in favor of the patient and most of the award is reimbursement. Authors Ikka, et al report on the case and changes in Japanese law overseeing regenerative medicine in a new Cell Stem Cell piece. The Mainichi reports that the female patient sought treatment from the stem cell clinic for “numbness …Read More

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The pioneering induced pluripotent stem cell (IPSC) clinical study in Japan led by top stem cell clinical researcher Dr. Masayo Takahashi has been stopped reports the WSJ in Japan. This development is confirmed by other sources and in a PDF report by RIKEN (in Japanese here). One patient was transplanted in September 2014 with their own IPSC-derived retinal pigment epithelial cells (using an innovative RPE sheet, see image) for treatment of macular degeneration. The study then moved on to a possible second patient, whose IPSC did …Read More

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In a major first for the stem cell and regenerative medicine fields, a patient in Japan today received a pioneering transplant of a retinal pigmented epithelial (RPE) sheet made from induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells, also known by the acronym IPSC. This is the first ever iPS cell-based transplant into a human. The patient is reported to be a 70-something Japanese woman suffering from macular degeneration and the procedure was performed by Dr. Yasuo Kurimoto and other specialists. I highly recommend the article by …Read More

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As the STAP cell fiasco has evolved, there has been discussion of various possible resolutions or even penalties for those involved, both institutions like RIKEN and individuals. One of the most extreme and I believe way out of proportion potential outcomes suggested has been the dismantling of RIKEN’s entire Center for Developmental Biology (CDB) in Kobe. An outside reform panel has reportedly suggested to RIKEN President Ryoji Noyori that CDB be dissolved. While it is true that Obokata was working at CDB and a few …Read More

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If you are wondering, “How will iPS cells get to help patients?” part of the answer is perhaps the big player and Japanese Institution, Riken and its arm Retina Institute of Japan. The stem cell field is still abuzz about induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells 7 years after their discovery. This amazing embryonic stem cell-like cells can be made with no embryo and have the potential for truly patient specific therapies as well as dish-in-a-dish modeling and drug discovery.   iPS cells are being commercialized and …Read More