¥1 billion invested in iPS cell venture

Kyodo

Innovation Network Corp. of Japan said Monday the government-private fund has invested ¥1 billion in a venture working to produce human platelets using induced pluripotent stem cells.

With the investment, the fund will help Megakaryon Corp. realize mass-production of platelets with iPS cells. The Tokyo-based venture has also secured ¥160 million via a new share allotment to an investment fund composed of SMBC Venture Capital and others.

Platelet formulations, used during blood infusion, are currently produced using platelets of donated blood. But since platelets can be preserved only for a short period of time, platelet formulations are in very short supply. The mass production of platelets using iPS cells will pave the way for stable procurement of safe platelets without risks of infectious diseases.