Members of the Innogen Institute joined a consortium of 26 partners, including small and medium-sized enterprises, several pharmaceutical companies, and other academic institutions in a public private partnership supported by the European Innovative Medicines Initiative (IMI).
The consortium, called the ‘European Bank for induced pluripotent Stem Cells’ (EBiSC),will establish the leading facility for the storage and distribution of induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells in Europe. EBiSC will act as a central storage and distribution facility for human iPS cells, to be used by researchers across academia and industry in the study of disease and the development of new treatments for them. Conceptualised and coordinated by Pfizer Ltd in Cambridge, UK, and managed by Roslin Cells Ltd in Edinburgh, EBiSC aims to become the European ‘go to’ resource for high-quality research grade human iPS cells. Today, iPS cells are being created in an increasing number of research programmes underway in Europe, but are not being systematically catalogued and distributed at the necessary scale to keep pace with their generation, nor to meet future demand. The €35 million project will support the initial build of a robust, reliable supply chain from the generation of customized cell lines, the specification to internationally accepted quality criteria and their distribution to any global qualified user, ensuring accessibility to consistent, high quality tools for new medicines development.