National / Science & Health

Kyoto University's potential iPS cell therapy for Parkinson's may be delayed

Kyodo

A research team at the Kyoto University’s Center for iPS Cell Research and Application is delaying a possible therapy for Parkinson’s disease, saying it will likely not apply for safety screening before next year.

If approved, the therapy would be the world’s first application of iPS cells for sufferers of the degenerative disease.

A research team at the center initially planned to apply for screening by a third-party panel at the university as early as this June. It pushed back the plan when it revised its clinical research plan, the center said.

The team, led by professor Jun Takahashi, initially planned to create iPS cells, or induced pluripotent stem cells, from a patient’s blood cells and grow them into neurons for transplanting into the patient’s brain. The results would be closely monitored, including whether the procedure induces a brain tumor.

Parkinson’s disease reduces neurons in the brain and results in tremors in hands and feet and stiffness of the body.

When a new source of iPS cells became available in August, the center decided to push back its clinical research to make use of the newly available cells.

Last year, a separate Japanese research team successfully transplanted retinal cells grown from iPS cells into a woman.

Coronavirus banner