Tailor-Made Stem Cells

04-07-2024 – In a few years, we’re likely to see personalized stem cells being used in the first clinical trials for heart patients. But there are still a few hurdles to overcome on the way from the lab to the clinic.

Illu 1680

“I’m in no doubt that in the future we’ll be able to produce clinically safe induced stem cells.” shares Simon P. Hoerstrup, Professor of Regenerative Medicine at the University of Zurich and Director of the IREM. 

Still, challenges remain which mean that testing and quality control of the cells has to be a top priority. This applies in particular to their use in clinical trials involving humans. Unlike in countries such as Japan or Germany, these are not an imminent prospect in Switzerland. Another issue is the costs. All steps in the process for producing induced stem cells are still reliant on laborious manual work and therefore give rise to costs that can run into hundreds of thousands of francs per cell sample.

The article first appeared in the UZH Magazin (02/2024).