Thursday, November 3, 2011

[WSK 5th] World Leader in Research of Stem Cells

Recently, the International Stem Cell symposium was held in Korea. The stem cell research of Korea has drawn the attention worldwide. If the stem cell treatment can be developed successfully, we human can overcome a lot of diseases.
 World’s First Stem Cell Treatment will be Released within the Year
The prominent “Stars” of the stem cell area visited Seoul last month. The third international stem cell symposium was held on September 29 in Seoul for two days. The world famous 25 researchers participated at the symposium including Dr. Nishigawa Shinichi who developed IPS for the first time in the world. The recent news on the stem cell development by the life engineering company in Korea and its world’s 4th approval of medical test drew a big attention in the academic world.

(Source: Donga Ilbo)

The experts expect that the 'mesenchymal stem cells' treatment would be available first for commercial use. The mesenchymal stem cells are adult stem cells obtained by bone marrow, fat and so on. A leader of business application group of cord blood stem cells in Seoul National University says that mesenchymal stem cells are safe because the immune rejection response, which attacks organs or cells that transplanted, is less and also it can be made into the cells we want. A company in Korea developed the medicine for arthritis and acute myocardial infarction and completed the third clinical trials for human last January and July. The medicine would be the first stem cell treatment in the world if it passes Korea food & drug administration’s assessment and be released within this year.
Kim Dong Uk, the business application research group leader, said that the first generation treatment was adult stem cells and the second generation treatment would be the stem cells divided into various tissues. He expected that more research would be done for the second generation treatment. Embryonic stem cell and iPS are regarded as the second generation treatments. The embryonic stem cell is derived from the embryo formed by combination of sperm and egg. IPS, which is reverted from somatic cells, is a stem cell quite similar to embryonic stem cell. Embryonic stem cell and IPS can be divided and formed into a variety of organs.

< Researchers in the 3rd international stem cell symposium > (Source: Donga Ilbo)
Kim said that Zeron, US life engineering company, started a trial using embryonic stem cells for the first time in the world and within five to ten years embryonic stem cell treatment would come out. However, there would be controversy for the time being because the treatment has ethical issues.

< Healing process with stem cell treatment > (Source: MoneyToday)
Tasks Still Remained
Meanwhile, IPS found in 2006 doesn’t have ethical issues but the research is insufficient. Natalie Dewit, director of Korea Pateur research center, expected that IPS would go into clinical trial phase late 2010s. The thing that IPS is randomly divided has to be solved in order to get the cells we want. Kim Gwang Su, a director of stem cell research center, said that the technology dividing IPS into brain cell has a big progress but for some other cells, there is still a long way to go. “The research is in progress.” He added.
Experts expect that IPS would be firstly applied to the experimental animals. The findings, which measure the medical efficiency converting iPS of the schizophrene into the nerve cells, were reported in Nature last 14th. Stem cells, which are developed from IPS obtained by patients, have the same conditions as human cells so they can be measured more accurately for new medicine.
Many people will be free of diseases once the stem cell treatment is developed. There are still many patients waiting for the positive results. Let’s hope for the success of stem cell research.

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