A group at Keio University is planning the world's first clinical study aimed at restoring vision by transplanting cells made from iPS cells into a patient with a disease in which the cornea on the surface of the eye becomes cloudy.
The research group has applied to the government for implementation and hopes to transplant if approved in the future.
A group of associate professors Shigeto Harumura of Keio University and others are planning clinical research.
The plan is to provide patients with a serious eye disease called "hydraulic keratopathy," in which the cornea becomes cloudy due to the decrease in cells in the cornea and the eyesight deteriorates. It aims to restore eyesight by transplanting 800,000 pieces.
The research group applied to the state last month after the clinical research plan was approved by an on-campus committee.
Corneal transplantation is the only cure for hydrogonal keratopathy, but according to the research group, about 10,000 people are waiting for a transplant, while about 2,000 people receive a corneal transplant each year for this disease. It means that there is a shortage of people.
The research group wants to transplant it to three patients with severe symptoms if it is approved by the national examination, and will confirm the safety etc. over a year.
Associate Professor Harumura says, "In many cases, we wait for corneal transplantation for more than a year. By utilizing iPS cells, we want to be able to treat without depending on the donation of the cornea."