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GEN News Highlights : Sep 11, 2013

U.K. Stem Cell Biobank Launched

Cell Therapy Catapult and Roslin Cells are partnering to establish a source of clinical-grade induced pluripotent stem cells (iPS) banked according to GMP standards in the United Kingdom. The iPS bank is being established with an initial £2 million (approximately $3.2 million) investment.

The iPS cell lines will be isolated and banked at Roslin Cells in Edinburgh and will be available for clinical research in both academia and industry, with availability of the initial six expected by the end of 2014. From these banks, research-grade lines will be created and made available for early-stage work and preclinical research.

Human iPS-based cell therapies are believed to be around 10 years away from launch, with clinical trials starting in Japan next year, and over 40 preclinical studies under way, according to Cell Therapy Catapult.

Roslin Cells has steadily been building its iPS expertise. Earlier last year, it joined a consortium that includes scientists at the University of Cambridge and the University of Edinburgh’s MRC Centre for Regenerative Medicine to generate human iPS cells to study bipolar affective disorder.