Towards the clinical application of
iPS Cell Therapy
Apr. 6, 2020
Shinya Yamanaka, Director, CiRAKyoto University

Center for iPS Cell Research and Applications, CiRA, is working to develop drugs for intractable diseases using iPS cells with the mission of “clinical application of iPS cells.” It is essential to conduct clinical trials by medical staff who are familiar with clinical research under a thorough safety management system in order to assess whether the research results generated by us can be used in the clinic practice.

I believe that Kyoto Innovation Center for Next Generation Clinical Trials and iPS cell therapy, Ki-CONNECT, affiliated with Kyoto University Hospital is an excellent institution to meet all of these needs.

In order to give back the research results of academia, such as iPS cells, to society as novel therapies, it is very important to ensure that the results and technologies are transferred to companies, aiming to utilize them in clinical practice. However, it is known that there is a deep groove called the “Death Valley” which hampers the translation of basic scientific discoveries into clinical trials.

I am convinced that the solidarity of talented staff at Ki-CONNECT, researchers at CiRA, staff at the CiRA Foundation that creates medical iPS cells, and companies and patients for one objective would serve as a great force to overcome the Death Valley.

In the future, I hope that CiRA, CiRA Foundation, and Ki-CONNECT will work together for rapid evaluation of iPS cell-based regenerative medicine technology in clinical practice, so that innovative medical technologies can be delivered to patients as soon as possible and inexpensively.