A Kyoto University professor who developed a technology to manufacture artificially derived stem cells said Tuesday he intends to team up with the Japanese Red Cross Society to create a system to stockpile induced pluripotent stem cells for regenerative medicine.
The "iPS Stock," expected to launch later this year pending Red Cross cooperation, aims to speed the procurement of types of cells unlikely to be rejected by transplant recipients, professor Shinya Yamanaka said. The tieup would make it easier to find such rare materials for creating iPS cells because it would allow scientists to tap into the data on HLA types, which can be compared to blood types for cells, that are checked when cord blood and bone marrow are registered into their respective banks. It may also shorten the time as well as reduce costs needed to procure cells for patients needing treatment.
A new system would have to be created to obtain donor consent for keeping the iPS Stock at the banks, which were originally intended for treating diseases such as leukemia.
Since patients will be receiving other people's cells, it would be necessary to work on steps to reduce rejection responses. As about 1 in 1,000 people have rare HLA types that are not likely to cause rejection responses, collecting dozens of such types would enable physicians to cover up to 90 percent of the local population, he said.