Kyoto University to halt provision of iPS cells after reagent misuse


Kyoto University will suspend its supply of induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells for clinical use after a wrong reagent was possibly used to create such cells.

The suspension is “a very tough decision,” Shinya Yamanaka, director of the university’s Center for iPS Cell Research and Application, or CiRA, told a news conference on Monday.

“We deeply reflect on and apologize for” the possible misconduct, Yamanaka said.

No iPS cells provided by the university have been used on human bodies.

The university last November found a mislabeled tube containing a reagent that has nothing to do with creating iPS cells, during the process of making the cells. The cause of the problem has yet to be identified.

The suspicious iPS cells, made from blood taken from umbilical cords, were supplied for 23 projects at a total of 13 domestic universities and research institutions.

Of the distributed iPS cells, few were for clinical use.

No malfunction has been confirmed among any of the distributed iPS cells, according to Kyoto University.

The suspension of the supply of the iPS cells is expected to delay related research for up to one year.

The university aims to resume the program this summer. It will continue to supply iPS cells for nonclinical use and those derived from peripheral blood.