What is regenerative medicine?
Regenerative medicine is the branch of medicine that promotes the regeneration of functions by cell and material
engineering to replace malfunctioned or damaged organs and tissues. This method has the potential to have radical
therapeutic effects on injuries and illnesses whose recovery cannot be anticipated only with conventional treatment
methods and the healing ability of the body: Hence, it is expected to bring about changes not only in the medical field,
but also in industrial and social structures.
In addition to somatic cells collected from organs to be treated, mesenchymal stem cells that can be collected from bone marrow, adipose tissue, and so on, ES cells derived from early embryos, and iPS cells generated by introducing genes into cells are generally used for current therapy.
Many issues remain including high cost and difficulty in quality control; however, the market is expected to grow rapidly to 5 trillion yen over the next 10 years.
Development of Next-Generation
Gene Expression Vectors
In cell therapy and gene therapy which has been attracting attention as the most advanced form of treatment, there are
many cases where it is necessary to control the expression of the transgene; hence, development of vector technology for
efficient gene introduction and safe expression is an urgent need.
Approximately 40% of R&D expenses in the medical field in the first fiscal year of 2019 allocated to the Japan Agency
for Medical Research and Development (AMED) by the government’s Health and Medical Strategic Promotion Office, was
assigned to the development of vector manufacturing technology for the practical use of gene / cell therapy, which is a
field now being promoted as a national policy.
There are various vectors that are currently used, such as plasmid vectors and viral vectors, which all have their merits and demerits: Anyway, it is necessary to control gene expression appropriately to use them in cell therapy.
We are focusing on the development of “next-generation gene expression vectors” that overcome these issues.
Development of cell therapy for ligaments
Ligament injury is a disorder that can occur in a wide range of generations, regardless of sex, not only during sports but also in daily life. Unlike general injuries, treatment for ligament injury requires surgery and long-term rehabilitation because the knee cruciate ligaments have an extremely limited natural healing ability, which places a heavy burden on the patient. We are collaborating with Keio University School of Medicine, Department of Physiology and Orthopedic Surgery, with the aim of developing new treatments for ligament injury.
Keio University School of Medicine Department of Physiology Dr. Hideyuki Okano
Okano Physiology Lab For more details
Keio University School of Medicine Department of Orthopaedic Surgery Dr. Masaya Nakamura Department of Orthopaedic Surgery For more details