With the daily announcement of new findings from various research institutes, the range of research and development in the field of regenerative medicine based on induced pluripotent stem cell (iPSC) technology is continually expanding. With the view to putting such findings to practical use, our company also focuses attention on the expansion of ideas and relevant basic research, and engages with areas other than ophthalmology.
One example is a collaborative research project concerning human organs, launched with Yokohama City University in October 2014.
In this collaborative research project, we focus on a technique to generate a rudimentary three-dimensional vascularized organ, or “organ bud,” by co-culturing iPSC-derived organ progenitor cells, which can differentiate into hepatocytes and renal cells; mesenchymal stem cells, which have the ability to develop into various types of connective-tissues; and vascular endothelial cells, which form the blood vessels.
Aiming to establish systems to conduct clinical studies in the future through collaborative research, we target metabolic hepatic disorders at present. We are planning to subsequently proceed to research and development for alternative methods of liver transplantation.