According to a survey by Nikkei Biotech, there are now seven cases of doctor-initiated clinical trials based in iPS cells in Japan. The most recent one is Jun Takahashi of CiRA’s clinical trial, in collaboration with Dainippon Sumitomo Pharma, using heterologous dopamine progenitor cells for the treatment of Parkinsons’s diseases at patients in Kyoto University School of Medicine’s Hospital for which data on safety and effectiveness must now be obtained, and cost reduction is also a major issue. Patients with Parkinson’s disease are said to be 160,000 in Japan. Dainippon Sumitomo, in cooperation with Helios, also prepares for clinical trials of retinal pigment epithelium (RPE) cells derived from heterologous iPS cells and targeted at patients with age-related macular degeneration. Terumo’s clinical use of cardiomyocyte sheets derived from heterologous iPS cells for the treatment of severe heart failure has already been conditionally accepted by MHW’s Regenerative Medical Evaluation Committee.

Nikkei Biotech news release, August 27, 2018