June 2, 2020

The Niche

Knoepfler lab stem cell blog

Riken iPS cells

3 min read

Stem cell technology is poised to wow the world with biomedical advances in the coming decades. Japan wants to lead the way, particularly with applications that focus on a relatively new kind of stem cells called induced pluripotent stem cells or iPS cells. Japanese researcher, Shinya Yamanaka, first reported production of iPS cells in 2006 in mice and in 2007 in humans. Japan has raced ahead of other countries and they appear to have the intellectual property rights and drive to do so. And …Read More

3 min read

In a shocker, Japan’s 2nd largest newspaper, Asahi Shimbun, published an editorial yesterday  saying that iPS cells are being pushed too fast to the clinic for economic reasons. The piece was bluntly entitled “Too much of a rush for clinical trials with iPS cells”. Asahi Shimbun, with a circulation of 10 million, is taking a bold step in questioning whether the iPS cell field in Japan might be moving too fast and the non-medical reasons behind that. They start off their piece with a bang …Read More

2 min read

It is always exciting when a biomedical technology as revolutionary as iPS cells is on the cusp of being used in patients for the first time. In the last few days stories have reported about how a proposed clinical trial based on iPS cells has completed several regulatory steps and is closer to starting. This is exciting, but the trial also has the potential for many risks. Just one risk stems from the fact that how cells behave in mice or other rodents or …Read More