Takahashi Tries for World's 1st Clinical iPS Trial of Regenerative Medicine

By Imazu, Hirofumi | The Daily Yomiuri (Toyko, Japan), July 14, 2013 | Go to article overview

Takahashi Tries for World's 1st Clinical iPS Trial of Regenerative Medicine


Imazu, Hirofumi, The Daily Yomiuri (Toyko, Japan)


Despite intense pressure and her hectic schedule, ophthalmologist Masayo Takahashi never forgets to smile. She has particular reason to be happy now, as Takahashi, 52, will likely conduct the world's first clinical trial of regenerative medicine using induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells as soon as next summer.

Since the discovery of iPS cells seven years ago, she has repeatedly said she wants to treat patients with them as soon as possible. Her wish moved a step closer to reality Friday when a government panel approved an iPS cell clinical trial on patients suffering from an eye disease called age-related macular degeneration.

Takahashi became an opthalmologist after graduating from Kyoto University. She treats patients suffering from many ailments, including age-related macular degeneration, which affects cells' ability to retain the function of vision. She has been very frustrated until now with the lack of effective measures to prevent patients from losing their eyesight.

In 2006, she transferred to the Riken Center for Developmental Biology in Kobe in search of a new treatment method for patients. …

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