Disease bioresources such as genes, cells, and experimental animals are now essential for the development of pharmaceutical products and medical devices. The National Institute of Biomedical Innovation conducts a variety of research projects for the development of bioresources essential for future research, collecting and preserving a variety of disease bioresources, and providing them to many laboratories in Japan or other countries.
To develop diagnosis and treatment of rare diseases, it is essential to promote research by supporting stable and efficient infrastructure. We started to establish "Rare Disease Specimen Bank". The bank will provide quality-controlled biospecimens to researchers in rare diseases research.
As a master bank, JCRB Cell Bank, we are collecting human culture cells derived from various diseases patients, or human stem cells including induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells or adult mesenchymal stem cells. The cells are qualified by testing for microbial contamination, virus contamination, and cross culture contamination, and also confirming their karyotype and cell characteristics. And then the qualified cells are provided to researchers. Further, we are developing the qualification method, functional evaluation method, and also culture method for human cells in order to support fundamental research on medical or pharmaceutical sciences.
A variety of animal models for human diseases play essential roles in the biomedical research including pathogenetic analysis and the development of new drugs for rare and/or incurable diseases. To facilitate the research and development, we are developing new animal models of diseases by establishing spontaneous mutant mice, transplanting human organs or tissues to super SCID mice, and generating gene-modified animals. We are also maintaining, preserving, and providing these model animals and developing related technologies such as reproductive biotechnologies.
The advancements in research techniques and study style of proteomics and genomics demand large scale biospecimen repositories of high quality. The Office is established to study on policy and ethics on research use of human materials and information. At the same time we are collecting data to construct a database of localization and availability of biospecimens. Our goal is to develop an internationally acceptable frame of policy and ethics on the use of human materials and information in Japan. This may lead us to achieve promotion of health and welfare of citizens.