Decision on iPS cell study deferred

JIJI

A health ministry panel stopped short of approving what would be the world’s first clinical study on induced pluripotent stem cells at its meeting Monday, deferring a decision until its next meeting, expected in July.

The iPS cell clinical study was applied for by national research institute Riken in February. The panel began screening the research plan in March.

According to the plan, retina cells will be created from iPS cells and transplanted into people suffering from age-related macular degeneration, a condition that weakens one’s eyesight.

On Monday, the panel discussed safety issues related to the research, including the risk of transplanted cells causing cancer.