Dept. of Clinical Application
Koji Eto (Professor)
Koji Eto M.D. Ph.D.
Multicellular organisms develop by producing a variety of cell types through asymmetric division. Hematopoietic stem cells and various blood lineage progenitor cells produce many types of blood cells this way to supply blood for a lifetime. To recapitulate this phenomenon in vitro, it is necessary to establish hematopoietic cells that can maintain self-renewal and differentiation abilities while also understanding the molecular mechanisms driving maturation of the cell types. We are engaged in basic research and development to elucidate the molecular mechanisms involved and thereby establish a technology for efficient induction of platelets and erythrocytes from human pluripotent stem cells. This would enable the supply of next-generation blood transfusion products and the creation of drug delivery systems using genetically engineered iPS cell-derived platelet products (iPSC-platelets).
The world's first clinical application of this product began in 2019 with a clinical trial of autologous transfusions of iPSC-platelets to a patient with platelet transfusion refractoriness. Currently, we are planning further clinical trials. We are also analyzing the immune properties of universal iPSC-platelets that are effective for treating platelet transfusion refractoriness. These platelets are made from iPS cells supplied by the CiRA Foundation. In another part of this project, we are working on their large-scale manufacturing. In a separate project, we are studying the molecular mechanisms for deriving and maintaining non-platelet blood cell lineages from human pluripotent stem cells.