Kyoto University’s Center for iPS Cell Research and Application announced that it has successfully produced iPS cells (induced pluripotent stem cells) for 231 government-specified intractable diseases, accounting for roughly 80% of such diseases (total: 306).
The iPS cells were created from the blood of patients that have these diseases. The Center will provide research institutions with the iPS cells for use in their research on the causes of the diseases and their drug development efforts.
It took about five years to produce the iPS cells. The diseases include Parkinson’s disease, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), and Crohn’s disease, which is a chronic inflammatory bowel disease. Because of the low rate of occurrence of these intractable diseases, drug development is unprofitable for manufacturers, and this discourages them from undertaking the research. Patients’ iPS cells will make it possible to replicate the diseases in test tubes. It is hoped this will advance the search for cures.
The iPS cells of intractable diseases will be stored at a cell bank in the Bio Resource Center of the Institute of Physical and Chemical Research (Ibaraki Prefecture) and will be offered to universities and drug manufacturers. Although similar initiatives are being undertaken in the U.S. and Europe, Kyoto University’s iPS cell collection covers the most diverse range of intractable diseases.
The announcement was made at the Congress of the Japanese Society for Regenerative Medicine, which took place in Sendai City.