UPDATE: Japan's CiRA, Takeda in clinical pact on stem cell R&D led by Nobel laureate Yamanaka

The Center for iPS Cell Research Application (CiRA) of Kyoto University and Takeda Pharmaceutical Company announced a decade-long R&D effort to discover new applications for induced pluripotent stem cells in areas such as heart failure, diabetes mellitus, neurological disorders and cancer immunotherapy, according to a press release.

The program will be led by the winner of a Nobel Prize for his work on iPS cells and CiRA Director Shinya Yamanaka, while Takeda provides long-term funding and related logistics.

Takeda and CiRA will jointly run projects led by research experts invited from CiRA, according to the release.

Under the arrangement, Takeda is to contribute $100.8 million of the $168 million collaboration with a combination of funds, facilities and equipment at its Shonan Research Center near Tokyo, plus half of the 100 researchers to be recruited and assigned to the project.

Kyoto University's iPS Cell Research Application center is to contribute the balance of the funds and researchers and the head of the project, Center Director Shinya Yamanaka, a Nobel laureate. The project is called the Takeda-CiRA Joint Program for iPS Cell Applications.

The research emphasis is to center on treatments of special interest to Takeda, including major and rare diseases such as cancer immunotherapy, diabetes, heart failure and neuro-psychiatric disorders, about 10 projects to be carried out concurrently over the course of the collaboration.


- here's the release