The rise of human induced pluripotent stem cell technology in drug development

Cell & Gene Therapy Insights 2020; 6(1), 127-135.


Published: 21 February 2020
Expert Insight
Chun Liu, Joseph Wu

Drug development has been significantly hampered over the past few decades, partly due to our over-reliance on animal models and immortalized cell lines. Recent advances in human induced pluripotent stem cell (iPSC) technology provide an excellent physiologically relevant approach for disease modeling, compound screening, and preclinical evaluation of drugs. Human iPSCs generated from patients have unique advantages over conventional models, including the potential to differentiate into any cell type and still retain the genetic identity of the patients. The growing interest to adopt iPSC technology for drug development by researchers and pharmaceutical companies has become increasingly evident. Here we discuss in detail the recent advances in iPSC technology relevant to the process of drug development.