Astellas Pharma gets involved in the human embryo stem cell “market”

Publié le 11 Nov, 2015

The American subsidiary, Ocata therapeutics, previously known as ACT (Advanced Cell Technology), which has come under scrutiny for its use of human embryo cells, has just been taken over by Japanese group, Astellas Pharma.


 “Despite being a small company,” Ocata has often been the first to cross boundaries in the area of cloning and the use of human embryo stem cells (hESC). The subsidiary’s history is marked by a “financial struggle” to“stay in the race”. Yoshihiko Hatanaka, Director of Astellas pointed out that his company “noted Ocata’s potential, especially that of the cell therapy scientists”.


 Based in Marlborough (Massachusetts), Ocata carried out a clinical trial involving hESC in the United States in 2010 [1] with a view to treating ARMD (Age-Related Macular Degeneration). This was followed by a second trial in the United Kingdom in 2011 and the company is still working on the same type of clinical trial today with a Korean team (cf. Gènéthique du 4 mai 2015).


  [1] Gènéthique published decoding on this American clinical trial. Click here to read the article by Gènéthique on 17 October 2014.

New York Times (10/11/2015)

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