Updated on 8 September 2015
The healthcare business arm of Japan's premier Hitachi Ltd. and the Center for iPS Cell Research and Application (CiRA) at Kyoto University have signed an agreement to collaborate in building a healthy volunteers' iPS cell panel.
CiRA has been generating iPS Cells from the cells of patients suffering from a variety of diseases as part of research projects including ‘The Program for Intractable Diseases Research utilizing Disease-specific iPS cells' of the Program in the Research Center Network for Realization of Regenerative Medicine, funded by the Japan Agency for Medical Research and Development (AMED).
By depositing the patient-specific iPS cells into public cell banks, CiRA has put in place an environment in which many researchers and companies are able to use the cells to advance research aimed at the elucidating the onset mechanisms for intractable diseases and the development of new drugs.
The research requires comparative studies of iPS cells from persons who have the disease in question and those who don't but have similar attributes, such as age and gender. Overall, to study a disease, it is essential to have a ‘disease-specific iPS cell panel' comprising patient-specific iPS cells and the patients' medical information, as well as a ‘healthy volunteers' iPS cell panel', comprising iPS cells derived from the cells of volunteers who do not have those diseases, and their health data. It is particularly important to obtain their health data over the long term to follow their health conditions in the future.
CiRA is establishing the patient-specific iPS cell panel using specimens and clinical information from patients suffering from specified diseases. The Hitachi Health Care Center, which is operated by Hitachi Ltd, will cooperate to set up the ‘Hitachi Healthy Volunteers' iPS Cell Panel' at CiRA by recruiting healthy volunteers visiting it.