Stem cell bank planned by drug companies com universities

Drug companies and universities are collaborating on a new stem cell bank.
Reuters: 05. December 2012

LONDON, ENGLAND—Drug companies and universities are spending $72.2 million to develop a bank of stem cells to use in testing potential treatments for hard-to- treat diseases.

The effort, known as Stembancc and managed by the University of Oxford in England, will focus on generating 1,500 induced pluripotent stem cell lines, researchers said at a London news conference. The cells will be used by drugmakers including Pfizer Inc., Sanofi and Roche Holding AG to test treatments for peripheral nervous disorders, pain, dementia, migraine, autism, schizophrenia, bipolar disorder and diabetes and to perform toxicology tests.

“This is a pioneering effort,” said Zameel Cader, a neurologist at Oxford and one of Stembancc’s leaders. “We want to be a flagship project within Europe.”

The researchers chose to use induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSC), which are adult stem cells that can be reprogrammed to generate any type of cell, because they probably have the genetic information needed for studying the diseases, Cader said. John Gurdon of the U.K. and Shinya Yamanaka of Japan won the 2012 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for work on induced pluripotent stem cells.

The Innovative Medicines Initiative, a public-private collaboration of the European Union and the European Federation of Pharmaceutical Industries and Associations, is contributing 26 million Euros of the cost; the EFPIA is contributing 21 million Euros; and other organizations are giving 8.6 million Euros.

The project, initiated by Roche, involves 10 drugmakers and 23 universities, the Basel, Switzerland-based company said in a statement. Other companies involved include Abbott Laboratories, Boehringer Ingelheim GmbH, Eli Lilly & Co., Johnson & Johnson, Merck KGaA, Novo Nordisk A/S and Orion Oyj.

Remark by ARISTOLOFT:
In our market assessment, as mentioned earlier in our website, we have found that Stem Cell Banking, if embracing only activities from umbilical cord or placenta is missing out a larger potential from e.g. dental pulp of deciduous baby teeth’s and adipose tissues from adults; — iPSC from adults,  may become essential for treating adults with their own stem cells.

Stem cell banking therefore may become an important part of the global stem cell movement for alternative treatment of all kinds of illness. The above report certainly shows that BIG PHARMA starts considering stem cells as an important avenue to treat illness in the future.

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