World's 1st iPS Therapy for Spinal Cord Injuries Starts in Japan

Society Lifestyle Science

Tokyo, Jan. 14 (Jiji Press)--Japan's Keio University said Friday it has started a clinical research to transplant neural progenitor cells derived from induced pluripotent stem, or iPS, cells into patients with spinal cord injuries, the first such attempt in the world.

A patient who received the transplant in December last year has developed no abnormalities, and the surgery was a success, according to the university.

At the same time, the university said it is still not possible to determine whether the patient's motor functions have actually recovered.

Keio University professor Hideyuki Okano and his team have received iPS cells derived from a healthy person from Kyoto University and converted them into cells that are capable of developing into nerves.

About 2 million of such cells were injected into the damaged section of the patient's spinal cord. The team will verify the safety and efficacy of the treatment while having the patient go through rehabilitation over a year.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press