Embryonic stem cells to be available for medical use in Japan by next March – The Japan Times

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Jul 05 2017

KYOTO Embryonic stem cells for regenerative medicine will become available to medical institutions by the March 2018 end of fiscal 2017, Hirofumi Suemori, associate professor at Kyoto Universitys Institute for Frontier Life and Medical Sciences, has said.

Suemori also said Tuesday that ES cells for medical treatment, which have been approved by both the health and science ministries, would be created from October at the earliest.

To make ES cells, Kyoto University will work with Adachi Hospital in the city of Kyoto, which offers infertility treatment, to use fertilized eggs that would otherwise be disposed of.

The university hopes to obtain unwanted fertilized eggs from patients undergoing infertility treatment. The fertilized eggs are expected to be provided from around next February, the university said.

ES cells have the potential to become a variety of cell types much as induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells do. Using ES cells, clinical trials are being conducted abroad on retinopathy, spinal cord injuries, Parkinsons disease, diabetes and cardiac disorders.

Many patients have qualms about discarding fertilized eggs, said Adachi Hospital Director Hiroshi Hatayama, who joined Suemori for a news conference. We can present an option to them, Hatayama said.

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Embryonic stem cells to be available for medical use in Japan by next March - The Japan Times

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