Professor Jun Takahashi and colleagues at the University of Kyoto Japan have announced that they are to start the world’s first clinical trial of cells derived from induced pluripotent stem cells (iSPC) in people with Parkinsons. 

The team led by Jun Takahashi, a professor at the university’s Center for iPS Cell Research and Application, has received government approval and is soliciting seven patients to participate in the trial, which will be conducted at Kyoto University Hospital. 

In the clinical test that will start this week, nerve cells derived from other people and stored at the university will be transplanted into the brains of patients to supplement damaged nerve cells. These nerve cells are created using cells from people who have types of immunity that make them less prone to transplant rejections.

Kosei Hasegawa, representative chairman of the Japan Parkinson’s Disease Association, said patients have huge expectations of the iPS therapy.

Hasegawa said many people are hoping to join the clinical research, adding, “I want the method to be established as a treatment available for anyone as soon as possible.”

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