Japan is building upon efforts last year to boost its standing as a regenerative medicine research hub with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe recently highlighting the field as key to the country's plans to revitalize the economy.
Japan's Center for iPS Cell Research Application (CiRA) of Kyoto University hopes to ramp up clinical tests starting this or early next year with unspecified clinical research projects aimed at finding possible cures for various diseases as academic, clinical and company efforts merge, Nikkei Asian Review reports.
South Korea's GemVax Technology picked up a 42% stake in Sweden-based NovaHep, a biotechnology company working on regenerative medicine in reconstructive surgery or for toxicity and biocompatibility studies, taking control of the company which has been seeking new equity since late last year.
The operators of a pair of private hospital networks, one in Japan and the other in South Korea, signed a memorandum of understanding to cooperate on research into regenerative medicine, the work ranging from education activities to clinical applications.
Japan's Fujifilm Holdings will pay $307 million to buy all outstanding shares of NASDAQ-listed Cellular Dynamics International in a deal with will further expand its reach into regenerative medicine research.
Researchers have grown human intestinal tissue from pluripotent stem cells and transplanted the living tissue into mice. These so-called organoids could provide a more accurate model for testing drugs designed to work on the intestines as well as help generate intestinal tissue for new treatments.
Mesenchymal stem cells may eventually be able to grow and strengthen muscles in humans, according to researchers at the University of Illinois. In mice, an injection of such stem cells helped rejuvenate skeletal muscle after exercise.
Researchers have figured out a way to identify stem cells in tissue from deceased human donors and use them to regrow anatomically correct, fully functional human corneas in mice.
Scientists at the University of Missouri have successfully transplanted and grown stem cells in pigs, pointing the way to a similar method that could eventually be used in people.
Despite the promise that stem cell technology has shown for regenerative medicine, heart attack patients who receive an injection of stem cells to regenerate damaged heart tissue may not actually benefit from the therapy.