BIZ BRIEF: Astellas, Kyoto University improve efficiency in kidney regeneration

June 18, 2013


Researchers at Astellas Pharma Inc. and Kyoto University said June 18 they have found a more efficient process in regenerating kidneys from human induced pluripotent stem cells (iPS cells) and human embryonic stem cells (ES cells).

The joint discovery of the drug maker and the Kyoto University’s Center for iPS Cell Research and Application (CiRA) is expected to help in the development of kidney regenerative medicine for chronic renal failure and other refractory renal diseases, which currently have no effective treatment.

Astellas and a CiRA research group led by associate professor Kenji Osafune said they developed an efficient way to differentiate nephron progenitor cells from the intermediate mesoderm by treating it with various growth factors and chemical compounds.

Using this method, the differentiated nephron progenitor cells proved to have the characteristics of genuine nephron progenitor cells in the body. The results suggest the differentiation method can induce human iPS/ES cells into nephron progenitor cells with similar developmental potentials to those in embryos.

Astellas and CiRA presented their discovery at the International Society for Stem Cell Research’s 11th annual meeting held in Boston from June 12 to 15.

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