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April 30, 2015

Fundraising at CiRA

The iPS Cell Research Fund at CiRA is one of our most important forms of support. In the fiscal year 2014, it received more than 700 million yen in donations, and more than 100 million yen was invested back into CiRA, the highest annual amount yet. We sincerely thank you for your continued contributions. 

On April 17, CiRA announced a comprehensive collaboration with Takeda Pharmaceutical Company to accelerate iPS cell research toward clinical applications, a collaboration officially named the T-CiRA program. CiRA investigators will lead research teams at the Takeda Shonan Research Center near Tokyo to develop new therapies using iPS cells, and Takeda will provide 20 billion yen over 10 years for this partnership. In general, funds from the Japanese government and companies like Takeda have helped us advance iPS cell research toward regenerative medicine and drug discovery.

However, these funds cannot be used for long-term employment. Of the 300 CiRA members, 90% are hired on short-term contracts. In addition, we also need more financial resources to nurture our young scientists into future iPS cell leaders, improve our research environment, cover costs involving patents, and conduct exploratory research that may cultivate new life science fields. The iPS Cell Research Fund can contribute to these initiatives, which are all essential elements to CiRA's success. As we expand, we will invest more in these goals and therefore aim to raise at least 500 million yen each year for our iPS Cell Research Fund, which is why I ask you for continued support. 

With your help, we can bring iPS cell technology to patient care even faster. 

Shinya  Yamanaka
Director, Center for iPS Cell Research and Application
Kyoto University

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