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Japan Suggests End to Public Aid for iPS Cell Stockpiling

Japan Suggests End to Public Aid for iPS Cell Stockpiling

   Tokyo, Dec. 1 (Jiji Press)--A Japanese government official has informed Kyoto University that state financial assistance to the stockpiling of induced pluripotent stem, or iPS, cells may be terminated in fiscal 2020, it was learned Sunday.
   The end of support would mark a policy reversal for the government, which has decided to provide at least 110 billion yen to the project over 10 years through fiscal 2022.
   Kyoto University Prof. Shinya Yamanaka, the inventor of iPS cells, which can develop into almost any type of tissue, and the winner of the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 2012, is calling for continued government assistance.
   The science and technology ministry has provided 2.7 billion yen annually to the university's Center for iPS Cell Research and Application, or CiRA, headed by Yamanaka. Of the aid, some one billion yen a year has been used for the project to stockpile iPS cells for regenerative medicine.
   As making iPS cells from patients' own cells is time-consuming and costly, CiRA produces iPS cells that are less likely to be rejected after transplants and stockpiles them for supply to universities and companies.

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