According to The Asahi Shimbun, an existing drug for Parkinson’s disease can delay the progress of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) by about seven months, according to a clinical trial using induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cell technology.
Keio University researchers released the results of the trial on May 20. They will apply for approval to use the drug to treat ALS as soon as possible after considering the need to conduct additional clinical trials.
It is the first time in the world that the efficacy of drugs discovered through “drug discovery and development” methods, which include experiments using iPS cells, has been confirmed in a clinical trial.
Under the methods, medical professionals can create a large amount of nerve and muscle cells using iPS cells based on cells harvested from patients to reproduce the patients' conditions.
They can then use those cells to test thousands of chemical compounds and pick drug candidates more quickly.
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