Japan Govt OKs iPS Cell Retinal Transplant

Society Lifestyle

Tokyo, June 11 (Jiji Press)--A Japanese health ministry panel on Thursday approved a clinical research program in which photoreceptor cells made from induced pluripotent stem, or iPS, cells will be transplanted into patients’ retinas in the world’s first attempt.

The program was proposed by Kobe City Eye Hospital, which is aiming to conduct the transplant later this fiscal year.

Subject to the clinical research are patients suffering from retinitis pigmentosa, an intractable eye disease for which there is no fundamental treatment.

Patients with the disease, estimated to total some 40,000 in Japan, experience symptoms such as a narrowing of the visual field and deterioration of vision.

Cells that form the basis of photoreceptor cells will be created using iPS cells provided by Kyoto University’s Center for iPS Cell Research and Application, or CiRA.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press