First iPSC Cell Farm Opens in Japan

Human embryonic stem cells are known for their dual properties. First, they are able to differentiate into other cell types based on the body’s need and it also has the characteristic of indefinite division or self-renewal.

However, the use of such stem cells is deemed unethical, basically because of the nature of where the stem cells are derived from.

Scientists are able to genetically modify stem cells, however, and that is done in a laboratory. That can only be done with the proper technologies and conditions and the resulting cell is known as the Induced Pluripotent Stem Cell.

Most of the iPSCs are only created in laboratories mainly for use in research and experiments. There are no stem cells that are created for the treatment of various medical conditions until now.

A pharmaceutical company in Japan has just opened a regenerative medicine center. This facility is set to produce various cells from induced pluripotent stem cells and these cells will mainly be used in clinical trials and medical applications.

The Sumitomo Dainippon Manufacturing Plant for Regenerative Medicine & Cell Therapy is allowed to gain a massive advantage in the market, particularly in the pharmaceutical and medical field, said Masayo Tada, current president of Sumitomo Dainippon Pharma.

The cell plant is the first of its kind in the world and this could lead to the creation of various treatments that can be used by the common man when given enough time.


Even though there are already production facilities that aim to produce cells from iPSCs, these facilities will only supply them to scientists and medical researchers. The cell plant in Japan will be the first entity to supply those cells to the general public.

The cell center costs $342.7 million to construct. It is said that the facility will have more than 30,000 square feet of floor space that will be subdivided into three autonomous regions. Every region will produce a specific type of cell and they will be used mainly for medical purposes, as well as clinical trials.

Kyoto University’s Center for iPS Cell Research and Application will be the company’s foremost supplier of the induced pluripotent stem cells that will be placed on the farm. They will then initiate the procedure to copy as many cells as possible for mass production.

Sumitomo Dainippon aims to make regenerative medicine as one of its core businesses and it hopes to increase their sales to billions of yen by the year 2030.