As humans have learned to provide blood transfusions and transplant organs such as corneas, kidneys, hearts and livers, they have also advanced the development of the associated technologies.
We believe that the concept behind regenerative medicine products is similar to that of organ transplants.
Although the idea of “changing parts” in the human body when they are not working properly is quite attractive as a radical treatment, there are still many challenges to be overcome, such as immunological rejection, organ donor issues (safety, reliability, ethicality) and high costs.
Immunology research has taken large steps forward since the start of the century, and we can now expect dramatic progress in immunology due to induced pluripotent cells (iPS cells), developed and first described by Nobel laureate Dr. Shinya Yamanaka in his seminal 2006 paper.
iPS cells serve as a “raw material” since they can be induced to differentiate into various organ-specific cells or tissues (retina, liver, heart, kidney, etc.)—this ability is called pluripotency.
Moreover, because iPS cells can be perpetually proliferated, it should be possible to create the large number of cells needed for organ-like tissues. Should this become a reality, it could potentially solve current organ donor issues.
Around the world, researchers are now trying to restore cellular function and provide radical treatments by applying iPS cell technologies to create cell therapy medicines with the same functions as human tissues and replacing dysfunctional tissues and cells. On this website, we refer to such pharmaceuticals (regenerative medicine products under the Law for Ensuring the Quality, Efficacy, and Safety of Drugs and Medical Devices) as iPSC regenerative medicine products.
iPSC regenerative medicine products replace old cells with rejuvenated cells to restore functions.
As diversification in our modern lifestyles and diets progresses, so have technological developments in medical and other fields, resulting in long life spans in economically developed nations.
On the other hand, there has also been an increase in the number of chronic diseases triggered by cellular aging, for which no cure exists. Many people around the world are in fact suffering from chronic diseases and difficult-to-treat illnesses.
Should the development and manufacture of iPSC regenerative medicine products progress, we can expect that illnesses resulting from cellular aging in organs and tissues could, in the future, be resolved with treatments that directly act on the underlying causes.
We at Healios will be part of this biotechnology revolution as we strive to be a world pioneer in the development and manufacture of iPSC regenerative medicine products. Our aim is to provide treatments to patients battling disease in order to give them hope.