The CiRA Foundation is an offshoot of the Center for iPS Cell Research and Application (CiRA), Kyoto University and will take control of CiRA's management of iPS cells, including manufacturing and quality control, acting as a bridge for the transfer of iPS cells to industry. It was officially founded as a general incorporation foundation on September 6, 2019, but was restructured as a public interest incorporated foundation as of April 1, 2020.
It has been more than 10 years since the first human iPS cells were reported. Now, through the hard work of researchers and cooperation of patients, iPS cell technology is being used to create new medical therapies. Many projects have begun to test the safety and efficacy of these therapies, including several with the cooperation of CiRA. Until now, CiRA has been responsible for managing the iPS Cell Stock Project, including manufacturing and quality control, technologies that it has shared with industry. The Foundation will take over this responsibility for the continuous advancement of related clinical applications.
The Facility for iPS Cell Therapy (FiT), which is the basis of the CiRA Foundation, is responsible for manufacturing, stocking and providing the best iPS cells with affordable price. The entire iPS Cell Stock Project has been financially supported by the Japanese government and has received tremendous assistance from the Japanese Red Cross Society and the Japan Marrow Donor Program. As of April 2020, it has prepared 27 iPS cell lines from 7 donors. These cells have been used in clinical trials managed by Riken for age-related macular degeneration, by Osaka University to regenerate corneal epithelial stem cells, and by CiRA to treat Parkinson's disease. Through research and consultation with industry, more cell lines are being made in order to provide the best ones for patients.
The Foundation will follow the philosophy below to bring iPS cell technologies to patients as quickly as possible. We appreciate your support.
Shinya YamanakaRepresentative Director
April 1, 2020