The launch of a European bank of IPS stem cells

Publié le : 7 February 2014

 The Innovative Medicines Initiative (IMI), the world’s biggest public-private health care partnership, will provide the administrative framework for the future centralised European bank of IPS stem cells. This bank, the European Bank for Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells (EBiSC) is a consortium comprising 26 public and private partners.

The EBiSC brings together members of the European Federation of Pharmaceutical Industries and Associations (EFPIA), PMEs (small and medium size companies) and universities, research centres, public institutions and non-profit-making organisations. The aim of this bank is to store and distribute IPS stem cells used to study diseases and develop treatments. The design and co-ordination of this bank are the work of Pfizer Laboratories (Cambridge, UK) and Roslin Cells (Edinburgh, UK).
Since Professor Yamanaka’s discovery in 2006, IPS stem cells have been recognised as "a technological advance". Today, numerous research programmes across Europe use IPS stem cells but these are not routinely listed and distributed equally in response to current or future requirements. Moreover, each programme currently in the pipeline does not necessarily have the financial, technical and human resources to produce and distribute these IPS stem cells. Thus the EbiSC project, which is estimated to be worth 35 million dollars, will provide a "reliable logistics chain" supplying specified lPS stem cell lines according to international criteria, and guaranteeing their distribution.

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