Unique Global Resource For Stem Cell Scientists

A global registry has been enhanced and expanded to offer more in-depth information and analysis on human pluripotent stem cell lines, including human embryonic (hESC) and adult derived induced pluripotent human stem cell lines (hiPS).

The Human Pluripotent Stem Cell registry (hPSCreg), funded by the European Commission in partnership with the UK Stem Cell Bank (NIBSC-MHRA), Charité University Medicine in Berlin and the Center of Regenerative Medicine in Barcelona (CMR[B]), is a freely accessible resource for the research community, legislators, regulators and international public.

It has been created to offer in-depth information and reviews on the current status of hPSC research in Europe, and builds on the previously funded hESCreg project, implementing enhanced search facilities for cell lines and information about these cell lines.

Over time hPSCreg - http://www.hpscreg.eu - will also provide links with other data systems, such as ToxBank, EBI and CellFinder, to enhance opportunities for data mining on stem cell lines and their applications.

Project co-ordinator, Dr Andreas Kurtz, explained: “This new database will help to drive up standards of characterisation for stem cell lines and enable comparability of data from different centres.

“It also provides an exciting opportunity to share and build data sets on specific lines, which will enable a growing and powerful resource in the stem cell field.”

hPSCreg operates under a rigorously applied code of practice and standard operating procedures to assure consistent and robust evaluation of the datasets.

Due to the large number of hPSC lines in existence, hPSCreg will ensure public presentation of data that may not have been otherwise been published in peer reviewed journals.

It will enable researchers to make more reliable comparisons of data on different cell lines so that they can select the best lines for their research.

hPSCreg will also be a vital tool in governance for EC-funded research, as it will provide formal cell line certification which will be required for EC project approval.

The launch of the registry coincides with the start of ISSCR (International Society for Stem Cell Research) 2015, from 24-27 June in Stockholm, Sweden - the largest annual meeting of its kind for stem cell bank research.


Notes to editors:

1) About hPSCreg: hPSCreg has a National Representatives Body comprising of experts from 17 countries, who will ensure that hPSCreg is kept up to date on national research and regulation in the stem cell field. As it develops the website will also provide news items relevant to the field, ‘spotlight’ articles on particular groups and notification of training and stem cell clinical trials

2) About the UK Stem Cell Bank (UKSCB): The UK Stem Cell Bank was established to provide a repository of human embryonic, foetal and adult stem cell lines as part of the UK governance for the use of human embryos for research, and is funded by the Medical Research Council and the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council. Its role is to provide quality controlled stocks of these cells that researchers worldwide can rely on to facilitate high quality and standardised research. It also prepares stocks of EUTCD-Grade cell lines for use as starting materials for the development cellular therapies.

The UKSCB is based at the National Institute for Biological Standards and Control (NIBSC), which is a global leader in the standardisation and control of biological medicines. As part of the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency, it is a world leader in supporting science and research, and the regulation of medicines and medical devices - strengthening the support provided to the UK’s medicines industry.

3) About the Charite BRCT: The Charité, founded in 1710, is one of the largest university hospitals in Europe with 13,200 employees, including 3700 clinicians and scientists. It extends over four campuses with almost 100 clinics and institutes bundled under 17 Charité Centers. The Berlin-Brandenburg Centre for Regenerative Therapies at Charité coordinates the hESCreg project.

4) About the CMR[B]: The CMR[B] was founded in 2004 by virtue of an agreement between the Health Department of the Catalonian Government and the Carlos III Health Institute (ISCIII) of the Spanish Ministry of Science and Innovation. The fundamental mission of CMR[B] is to advance the implementation of regenerative medicine strategies by conducting research of excellence on the generation of pluripotent stem cells and on the mechanisms that control their differentiation toward clinically relevant cell types.

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