Research and Development Strategy for Future Embryonic Stem Cell-Based Therapy in Japan


Herewith, we review an updated progress of regenerative medical products using human embryonic stem cells (ESCs) in Japan. Two groups from Kyoto University and the National Center for Child Health and Development (NCCHD) established a novel derivation/cultivation system of ESCs for potential application in translational and clinical research. At the first stage of ESC derivation, murine feeder cells have been used in line with Japanese guidelines on public health associated with the implementation of the xenograft. To avoid exposure of ESCs to animal products in culture media, a xeno-free cultivating system has been established. Twelve ESCs (KhES-1, KhES-2, KhES-3, KhES-4, KhES-5, SEES-1, SEES-2, SEES-3, SEES-4, SEES-5, SEES-6, and SEES-7) are now available under a clinically relevant platform for industrially and clinically applicable regenerative medical products. NCCHD submitted an investigative new drug application to the Pharmaceuticals and Medical Devices Agency (PMDA) for using ESC-based products in patients with hyperammonemia due to genetic defects on March 2018 under the Pharmaceutical Affairs Law (now revised to the Pharmaceuticals, Medical Devices, and Other Therapeutic Products Act). Currently, up to ten ESC-based products are being prepared for intractable and rare disorders in Japan. Copyright © Japan Medical Association.

Authors Umezawa A, Sato Y, Kusakawa S, Amagase R, Akutsu H, Nakamura K, Kasahara M, Matsubara Y, Igarashi T
Journal JMA journal
Publication Date 2020 Oct 15;3(4):287-294
PubMed 33225099
PubMed Central PMC7676987
DOI 10.31662/jmaj.2018-0029

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