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New center to deliver GMP-grade stem cells


Edinburgh – Scottish scientists are well on the way to deliver clinical grade human stem cells to researchers and companies all over the world. “We will soon be able to deliver embryonic stem cells that meet the regulatory requirements,” Edinburgh-based researcher Paul de Sousa told EuroBiotechNews on the occasion of a EUR3 million kick-off funding for the new Roslin Cells Centre (RCC). “We aim to have our first research grade cell lines available for distribution in spring/summer 2007. In parallel we are developing GMP grade stem cells, which, pending UK Human Tissue Authority accreditation, would be compliant with UK and EU regulations for therapeutic use.” The RCC, which is funded by Scottish Enterprise Edinburgh, will be run by Roslin Cells Ltd, a not-for-profit company.
“What distinguishes us from other groups which aspire to produce clinical grade stem cells is that we co-operate with the National Scottish Blood Transfusion Service, who brings in a lot of experience in regulatory compliance. The other significant feature is that we are prepared to distribute cells to researchers or companies for upfront fees for either exclusive or nonexclusive use. Those fees will enable researchers to commercially expand their research without needing to negotiate commercialization licensing rights in the future,” says de Sousa. This could mean significant progress for the stem cell sector. Currently, all stem cell providers demand license fees on any commercial product derived from their stem cells. This could possibly hamper commercialization or the funding of stem cell discoveries. Whilst it is unclear if the European Regulatory Authorities will accept GMP-grade stem cells cultivated in media which contain animal-derived products, the RCC’s cultivation strategy will be diversified. “We will produce cell lines either with or without animal compounds to meet the regulatory requirements.”



London - The not-for-profit UK Biobank, the most comprehensive health study in Britain, is now accessible to researchers from industry and academia. The resource, which contains some 1,000 pieces of health and lifestyle...



London – The British Wellcome Trust announced on 20 March that it will launch a £200m business to invest directly in healthcare and life sciences companies. The business, up to now running under its working title Project Sigma,...



Nanopore sequencer Oxford Nanopore Technologies, a UK firm that promises its third-generation technology could theoretically sequence a human genome in 15 minutes, impressed scientists with the first public presentation of its...



GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) is further strengthening its activity in the area of rare diseases. The London-based pharma giant has signed an early-stage deal to develop and commercialise treatments for lysosomal storage disorders...



London/Montreal - Angiochem will collaborate with British pharma trust GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) plc on treatments for lysosomal storage diseases (LSD). London-based GSK will pay $300m, including up to $31.5m in upfront cash and...



London - GlaxoSmithKline re-adjusts its €3.7bn R&D budget. Following a review, three of 38 R&D units will be cut and four new ones installed, the UK drug company said in a statement on 7 Februray. Furthermore, six of the...



London - AstraZeneca tries to shed some weight, anticipating a tough year ahead. 7,300 jobs will be gone soon, the Anglo-Swedish drug company said in a statement. Research and development operations will be cancelled in...



Newhouse – An example of Schumpeter's dictum of creative destruction can be witnessed in Scotland. A former research site of US-pharma company Merck will be reborn as a biotech science park. BioCity Scotland Ltd, a joint venture...

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