Santé humaine


Masayo Takahashi, regenerative medicine pioneer

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Researcher and clinician at RIKEN Leader of the Retinal Regeneration Laboratory What triggered the shutdown of your first human trial, launched in 2013? In November 2014, a regulatory change required that any clinical study using stem cells be led by a medical institution. RIKEN being a research institute, our trial of age-related macular degeneration treatment had to be renewed. We then formed a new partnership with the Kobe General Hospital, Kyoto University and Osaka University to re-launch a clinical study. But this regulatory change did not slow us down. We used it to modify our protocol in depth. The first trial was based on the transplantation of a retinal pigment epithelial sheet derived directly from the patient induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs). Generating these autologous cells takes time and, to treat more patients, we decided to switch to allogeneic, iPS cells from donors that were ready to use at that time. It’s much faster. The new version of our study was accepted in early February and we did the first surgery at the end of March. This also allowed us […]

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