UMass Human Stem Cell Bank and Registry partners with U.K. Stem Cell Bank

The University of Massachusetts Human Stem Cell Bank and Registry and the United Kingdom Stem Cell Bank on March 15 signed an agreement to share best practices for stem cell banking and to collaborate on standards for stem cell line characterization, production and distribution in the United States and U.K.

HERTFORDSHIRE, England—The University of Massachusetts HumanStem Cell Bank and Registry and the United Kingdom Stem Cell Bank on March 15signed an agreement to share best practices for stem cell banking and tocollaborate on standards for stem cell line characterization, production anddistribution in the United States and U.K.
 
 
The agreement calls for the two banks to identify sharedpriorities and create models that foster collaboration and cooperation.Potential areas of collaboration include the harmonization of standards forcell-line characterization, production and distribution; identification ofissues surrounding co-distribution of cell lines for research; and explorationof funding opportunities for joint research projects.
 
 
Both banks support international research in regenerativeand stem cell medicine by providing the biomedical research community withexpertly derived and maintained human embryonic stem cell lines for fundamentalbiological investigation and therapeutic applications. According to the twobanks, their research customers use the stem cell lines for their work ondiscovering new therapeutic treatments for diseases such as cancer, type 1diabetes, Alzheimer's and Parkinson's, among others.
 
 
"Both banks share common goals and needs," says Dr. JosephC. Laning, senior director of the UMass Human Stem Cell Bank and Registry."Working in concert allows us to develop strategies that will shape stem cellproduction, characterization, banking and distribution in a dynamic field. Eachbank brings its own unique attributes to bear in a way that will enhance ourinfluence in the field."
 
 
Dr. Stephen Inglis, director of the U.K. Health ProtectionAgency's National Institute for Biological Standards and Control, says, "Thisagreement presents an opportunity to forge a new strategic and innovative linkbetween two leading international stem cell banks. International cooperation isvital in this fast moving field, and we expect that the partnership willaccelerate the development of important new therapies as well as keeping the U.K.at the forefront of stem cell research."
 
 
The UMass Human Stem Cell Bank and Registry was developed inpartnership with and backed by the Massachusetts Life Sciences Center, aquasi-public agency charged with implementing the state's 10-year, $1 billionlife-sciences initiative.
 
 
The U.K. Stem Cell Bank was established to provide arepository of human embryonic and adult stem cell lines as part of the U.K.governance for the use of human embryos for research. Its role is to providequality controlled and ethically sourced stocks of these cells that researchersworldwide can rely on to facilitate high-quality and standardized research. Itis also ready to prepare stocks of "clinical grade" cell lines as seed stocksfor the development of therapies. Oversight of the U.K. Stem Cell Bank isprovided by an independent steering committee, which provides an ethicalframework for stem cell research and the distribution of stem cell lines.


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