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UK's Tissue Regulator to Stay

The two UK biomedical regulatory bodies that oversee human tissue and embryo research, which were marked to be disbanded, have been spared, Nature reports.

The Human Tissue Authority and the Human Fertilization and Embryology Authority were expected to be axed by the federal government as part of a streamlining effort to avoid bureaucratic redundancy, but a new independent review commissioned by the Department of Health found “very little overlap” between the agencies.

DH opted to conduct the review in part because the plan to cut the two agencies was opposed by many in the research community.

The HTA regulates tissues used in research and treatment, organ transplantation and donation, and bone marrow and peripheral blood stem cell donations from living donors, among other activities.

But there will be some changes, Nature says. Under the new plans, tissues used for developing medical research, tissues used for developing medicinal products will be regulated by the Heath Products Regulatory Agency, which handles medicines and devices.

The review also proposed 18 recommendations for improving the HTA to make it more accountable, transparent, and efficient.

Also, a new Health Research Authority, which was created to examine standards and regulation of medical research, will provide a one stop shop to advise researchers, and all regulatory bodies in charge of research affairs will cooperate with this authority.