Japan approves world-first trial using iPS cells to treat spinal cord injuries

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The health ministry on Monday approved the world’s first clinical test in which artificially derived stem cells will be used to treat patients with spinal cord injuries.
A team of researchers from Keio University, which filed a request for the test with the ministry, will inject neural cells produced from so-called induced pluripotent stem cells – known as iPS cells – into four people who are injured while playing sports or in traffic accidents.It is the fifth time the government has authorized clinical studies using iPS cells. The patients, aged 18 or older, will undergo the test treatment under the care of a team led by Hideyuki Okano, a professor at the Keio University School of Medicine.

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