TOKYO, August 1, 2019—Canon Inc. (Headquarters: Ohta-ku, Tokyo, Japan; Chairman & CEO: Fujio Mitarai) Canon Medical Systems Corporation ("Canon Medical"; Headquarters: Tochigi Prefecture, Japan; President: Toshio Takiguchi) and the Center for iPS Cell Research and Application, Kyoto University ("CiRA"; Headquarters: Sakyo-ku, Kyoto, Japan; Director: Shinya Yamanaka) announced today that the parties have agreed to commence joint research from August 1, 2019, with the aim of contributing to the field of regenerative medicine through the realization of higher-quality induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells1 for autograft purposes, or "my iPS cells2."
Regenerative medicine is a field that involves such techniques as transplanting cells and tissues cultured outside the body to restore organ and tissue function lost through illness or injury. The field is expected to yield remedies for diseases that until now have had no effective treatments. As well as being crucial to the wider adoption of regenerative medicine, iPS cells are expected to have various applications that will contribute to the advancement of medicine, including in investigating the cause of diseases and in the development of new drugs.
CiRA commenced the iPS Cell Stock for Regenerative Medicine3 project in 2013. The iPS cell stock, the core component of iPS cell-based regenerative medicine, is produced at FiT (Facility for iPS Cell Therapy), which was established to produce iPS cells and iPS cell-derived cells.
Now, looking to encourage the further adoption of regenerative medicine, CiRA is also proceeding with efforts to realize my iPS cells, which would use iPS cells made from the patient's own cells to mitigate the risk of immune rejection. In order to achieve this, it is integral to create new technology wherein a stable supply of iPS cells with guaranteed quality can be produced in a short period of time and at a low cost.
Current challenges in iPS cell production include reducing the cost of DNA testing and other examinations as well as establishing indicators, or "markers," to easily and effectively determine cell differentiation—what kind of cells the iPS cells would become.
This joint research between Canon and CiRA will utilize the core technologies of the Canon Group—optical technology, measurement technology and diagnostic imaging technology—to develop a low-cost examination method as well as investigate markers to determine cell differentiation. Furthermore, through the use of the quality control technology and production technology the Canon Group has developed through its manufacturing, the research aims to identify and control the factors that affect the quality of iPS cells to achieve iPS cell production at a low cost and with a shorter lead time while maintaining high quality and safety.
Through this research, the Canon Group and CiRA will contribute to the further development and wider adoption of regenerative medicine.
- Canon Inc. Chairman and CEO Fujio Mitarai
- Canon Medical Systems Corporation President and CEO Toshio Takiguchi
- Center for iPS Cell Research and Application Director Shinya Yamanaka