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Definigen Joins European Stem Cell Bank Consortium

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb) – Stem cell products and services provider Definigen said today it will validate induced pluripotent stem cells for the European Bank for Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells (EBiSC) consortium.

EBiSC is a 26-partner public-private European initiative coordinated by Pfizer and managed by Roslin Cells that will store and distribute iPS cells to global research communities.

Cambridge, UK-based Definigen said it will validate the EBiSC cell lines by generating liver hepatocyte cells to be used in toxicology, disease modeling, and regenerative medicine applications.

The consortium launched in February 2014 with a €35 million ($46.2 million) commitment from the Europe's Innovative Medicine's Initiative, a €1 billion program created and funded by the members of the European Federation of Pharmaceutical Industries and Associations and the European Union.

The investment in the EBiSC consortium will fund the project's initial build-out of a robust, reliable, supply chain that includes the generation of customized cell lines, specification of internationally accepted quality criteria, and distribution to qualified users around the world.

There are currently many research programs underway in Europe that are producing iPS cells from hundreds of different donors. In the process, many extra cells are created that could be of use to other researchers. The driving vision behind the EBiSC consortium is to collect and store the extra iPS cells that were created for those specific research projects and distribute them to other scientists.

"The consortium includes many of Europe's leading stem cell scientists and experts in related fields, such as data management, law, and social sciences," Roslin Cells' Aidan Courtney said in a statement.

"We will keep abreast of the fast moving progress in the field of how to make these cells and also provide an online resource to pool the results of research undertaken with the catalogue of items that we distribute," Courtney added. "In this way, EBiSC will create an ever increasing wealth of iPS cells, data, and knowledge, which will help advance drug development and health research."

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