As a series of endeavors to establish suitable measures for the sound development of regenerative medicine using human stem cell-based products, we studied scientific principles, concepts, and basic technical elements to ensure the quality and safety of therapeutic products derived from the processing of human embryonic stem cells (hESCs), taking into consideration scientific and technological advances, ethics, regulatory rationale, and international trends in human stem cell-derived products. This led to the development of the Japanese official Notification No. 0907-6, “Guideline on Ensuring the Quality and Safety of Pharmaceuticals and Medical Devices Derived from the Processing of Human Embryonic Stem Cells,” issued by Pharmaceuticals and Food Safety Bureau, Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare of Japan, on September 7, 2012. The present paper addresses various aspects of products derived from hESCs, in addition to similar points to consider that are described previously for allogeneic human stem cell-based products. Major additional points include 1) establishment of hESCs; 2) establishment of stable and well-characterized cell banks of hESCs and relevant intermediate cell products; 3) concerns about the presence of undifferentiated cells in final products, which may result in ectopic tissue formation and/or tumorigenesis; and 4) concerns about undesirable immunological reactions caused by the final products. The ultimate goal of this series of guidelines on regenerative medicine is to provide suitable medical opportunities as soon as possible to the patients with severe diseases that are difficult to treat with conventional modalities. If these guidelines are interpreted and employed in a flexible and meaningful way in this context, they should serve as a useful means to achieve their goals.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Biomedical Engineering
- Developmental Biology