The Culture Collections is one of a consortium of 26 partners awarded EU funding to establish the European Bank for induced pluripotent Stem Cells (EBiSC). The aim is to make human iPS cells easily accessible to medical researchers studying diseases and developing new treatments for them.
The €35 million project started in January 2014 and will be funded initially for 3 years.
The European Collection of Authenticated Cell Cultures (ECACC), part of the Culture Collections of Public Health England, will coordinate cell line distribution for EBiSC. As iPS cells become available for supply they will be listed on this website. Researchers will be able to order the cells online.
What are iPS cells?
Induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells are adult cells that have been reprogrammed to an embryonic stem cell–like state. The cells can replicate indefinitely or, under controlled conditions, can be differentiated into any other cell type such as nerve, heart or liver cells. This is significant as many other types of human cells tend to stop growing after a short period in laboratory culture.
Medical researchers are able to use iPS cells to test how different patients might respond to new drugs or to analyse how genetic diseases develop. iPS cells hold much promise for regenerative medicine and for research into diseases where it is not possible to obtain relevant tissue samples from living patients – such as neurodegenerative diseases including Alzheimer’s and Huntington’s Disease.
Visit the EBiSC website (open in new window) for more information about the EBiSC project.
The EBiSC project has received support from the Innovative Medicines Initiative Joint Undertaking under grant agreement n° 115582, resources of which are composed of financial contribution from the European Union's Seventh Framework Programme (FP7/2007-2013) and EFPIA companies’ in kind contribution.
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