Japan Panel OKs Regenerative Medicine for Spinal Cord Injury Patients

Society Lifestyle Politics

Tokyo, Nov. 22 (Jiji Press)--A Japanese health ministry panel has given a conditional green light to the commercialization of a regenerative medicine to treat sufferers of spinal cord injuries.

Given the decision on Tuesday, the health minister is expected to allow the production and sales of the preparation made from human mesenchymal stem cells and related apparatus by the end of the year, people familiar with the matter said.

In June this year, medical equipment maker Nipro Corp. <8086> applied for approval of the commercialization of the stem cell preparation and related equipment the company jointly developed with Sapporo Medical University Prof. Osamu Honmo.

In the treatment, mesenchymal stem cells taken out of bone marrow fluid of spinal cord injury patients roughly within a month of injury infliction will be cultured to make the preparation, to be sold under the Stemirac brand. The medicine will then be injected into the same patients.

The cells are expected to restore damaged nerve cells and improve symptoms, such as paralyses of arms and legs.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press