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Allele Establishes iPSC Bank Business

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb) – Allele Biotechnology & Pharmaceuticals today announced it has formed a commercial business to bank human induced pluripotent stem cells by private individuals. 

The San Diego-based firm said that in addition to providing a service to its customers, the iPSC bank will be a resource to biomedical researchers. With consent given by the bank's customers, thousands of iPSC lines — along with accompanying sequence database and health information — will be made available to scientists and clinicians. 

Allele has acquired an 18,000-square-foot facility near its headquarters in preparation of establishing the iPSC bank, which will serve as the center of cGMP production of human iPSCs using the firm's synthetic mRNA platform. The technology generates cells without the random integration of foreign DNA or the use of viruses or virus-based elements, it said. 

The firm has also established a scientific advisory board to guide the iPSC bank business. Mahendra Rao and Joseph Paulauskis are the board's first members. Rao was the vice president of regenerative medicine at Invitrogen and the founding director of the National Institutes of Health's Center for Regenerative Medicine. He is currently chief strategy officer at Q Therapeutics. 

Paulauskis is the chief operating officer at Paradigm Dx and the VP of research and biobanking for the International Genomics Consortium.