Japan-based Takeda Pharmaceutical Company has entered a ten-year collaboration with Centre for iPS Cell Research Application (CiRA) of Kyoto University to develop clinical applications of induced pluripotent stem cells in areas, including heart failure, diabetes mellitus, neurological disorders and cancer immunotherapy.

The ‘Takeda-CiRA Joint Programme for iPS Cell Applications (T-CiRA)’ has been designed to speed-up multiple research projects for drug discovery and cell therapy using iPS cells.

CiRA director Shinya Yamanaka will monitor the programme, while Takeda will provide long-term funding, recommendations on research management and facilities at its Shonan Research Centre of Fujisawa.

"Our company will provide significant assistance over a long period to CiRA’s research into iPS cell technology applications."

Yamanaka, who received Nobel prize for his work on iPS cells, said: "This ten-year joint programme with Takeda, Japan’s largest pharmaceutical company, will become a powerful engine to realising medical applications using iPS cells."

As part of the collaboration, both organisations will jointly work on projects led by research experts invited from CiRA, which are expected to make significant contributions to science.

Under the deal, Takeda will provide JPY20bn ($167m) over a ten-year period, in addition to the JPY12bn ($100bn) worth of research support, including facility, equipment, researchers and various research services.

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Takeda Pharmaceutical Company president and CEO Christophe Weber said: "Through this partnership, our company will provide significant assistance over a long period to CiRA’s research into iPS cell technology applications, which is a vital part of Japan Revitalization Strategy."

The iPS cell technologies hold capabilities to bring innovative transformations to future medical treatments and their applications, including drug discovery, cell therapy and drug safety assessments.

Image: Takeda Midosuji Building, the head office of Takeda Pharmaceutical Company, in Chuo-ku, Osaka, Japan. Photo: courtesy of J o.