Megakaryon of Japan has a joint research with Harvard University to develop blood outside of the body. Success would eliminate the blood bank shortages. They are producing blood platelets in vitro from induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells. Megakaryon CEO Miwa aims to start mass in vitro production of blood by 2020.
At present, the company can only make a few units of blood every two weeks. In Japan alone, annual demand totals 800,000 units. Megakaryon is working with Japanese drugmakers and manufacturers of materials to create a mass-production system.