Induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) were from the very first seen as a promising biotechnology. The approach to reprogramming cells from a patient sample into iPSCs costs little and is easy for any life science lab to work with. This offers the potential to generate patient matched cells of any type in a reliable manner, which in turn enables development of a range of potential regenerative therapies. As is always the case, moving from the lab to the clinic has progressed at a very slow pace, however. The regulatory system demands absolute certainty and enormous expense, and the primary result is that it takes a very long time to make any sort of progress towards commercial application of technologies proven in the laboratory. Further, and as is the case here, these incentives direct researchers away from using patient-matched cells in favor of standard donor sources even when that causes worse outcomes for patients. The gap between what is possible and what is permitted increases with every passing year. At some point, and in some way, this must end.
Early next year, a small clinical trial will begin in Japan, marking the first time reprogrammed
Article originally posted at