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Osaka University Medical TeamTo Embark on World's First iPS-based Treatment of Cardiac Disease

By July 26, 2017 at 12:25 am

Prof. Yoshiki Sawa and his research team at Osaka University disclosed July 21 the team had filed to the university's review committee application for a clinical study for the treatment of cardiac failure with iPS cells - i.e. via transplantation of iPS-based cardiac cells.

The regenerative medicine based on iPS cells has two precedents, namely the case of an eye disease already in progress and that of spinal cord lesion currently under review. The present case of cardiac disease is the third one - the first of its kind in the world - which promises to be a breakthrough for the cardiac patients who had had only cardiac transplantation to count on.

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The first operation of this kind could take place hopefully early in the first half of 2018.

Kyoto University's CiRA (Center for iPS Cell Research and Application) wil provide iPS cells stocked at the center to create myocardial cells that "beat". The cells are made into sheets of two to three layers and transplanted on the heart of a patient. The maiden operation targets three patients in the age brackets of 18-75 and verities effects on cardiac functions over a period of one year.

The research team submitted a plan to the Special commission on Regenerative Medicine of Osaka University. On approval, the plan is to be forwarded to the Minister of Health, Labour, and Welfare and further on to the relevant ministerial section for deliberation. Upon final approval by the minister, a clinical research will kick off straight away.

In five or so years' time, the team will work out a formula for common therapy.

Prof. Sawa and his team have successfully experimented with pigs and confirmed the transplanted iPS-based cardiac cell sheets beat and function as part of the heart.(Nathan Shiga) 

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