National / Science & Health

University team to seek approval for iPS-based heart treatment trial

Kyodo

A university research team will seek government approval by the end of October to carry out a clinical trial using iPS cells to treat a serious heart condition, Osaka University officials said Wednesday.

The treatment involves transplanting “sheets” of heart muscle cells, generated from induced pluripotent stem cells that can develop into any type of tissue, to individuals suffering from ischemic heart disease.

The disease is caused by the buildup of plaque in the coronary arteries, which partially or totally blocks blood flow to the heart.

The team, led by Yoshiki Sawa, a professor at Osaka University’s Department of Cardiovascular Surgery, received approval for a clinical study from the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare in May 2018.

But the study was delayed after a powerful earthquake hit western Japan a month later, damaging a research facility where the necessary cells would have been cultivated.

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