Kyoto Univ. to Start iPS Clinical Trial for Parkinson's by Year-End

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Kyoto, July 30 (Jiji Press)--Kyoto University said Monday that it will launch the world's first clinical trial for transplanting neural precursor cells made from induced pluripotent stem, or iPS, cells into the brains of Parkinson's disease sufferers.

The Japanese university will select seven patients for the trial and carry out the transplant surgery on the first of them by year-end at the earliest. The patients will be those aged between 50 and 69 whose conditions are not serious although their medicines are working less effectively than before.

If the clinical trial turns out to be successful, the university will aim to develop new drugs for the intractable disease in collaboration with Sumitomo Dainippon Pharma Co. <4506> and file an application with the government on the new drugs as early as in fiscal 2022.

Parkinson's disease, stemming from a fall in the number of nerve cells that create dopamine, a substance to transmit signals in the brain, causes sufferers to tremble or become unable to move their limbs properly.

A Kyoto University team, including Prof. Jun Takahashi, will use iPS cells made from the blood of people with a special immune type that rarely causes rejection. The iPS cells will be cultured into neural precursor cells, and the cultured cells will be injected into the brain. The transplanted cells will develop into nerve cells, which are then expected to start releasing dopamine, according to the team.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press