UK Stem Cell Bank
The UK Stem Cell Bank is responsible for storing, characterising and supplying ethically-approved, quality-controlled stem cell lines for medical research and treatment. Located at the National Institute for Biological Standards and Control (NIBSC), it is a repository for stem cells derived from adult, fetal and embryonic tissues and is open to scientists in the UK and overseas.
The UK Stem Cell Bank operates under a high-level steering committee. Scientists who wish to deposit a cell line in the bank or to use material from the bank must complete an application form and send it to the MRC, which acts as secretariat for the steering committee. More information on using the bank and its governance.
Under its code of practice the UK Stem Cell Bank is required to recover marginal costs from academic users and full costs from commercial users. Because its purpose is to promote research and the development of therapeutic applications, any charging regime for the bank approved by its sponsors (the MRC and the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council) will reflect this commitment.
Jointly funded by the MRC and the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council, the UK Stem Cell Bank was established in 2002 to store, characterise and supply ethically-approved, quality-controlled stem cell lines for medical research and treatment. The UK’s first two human embryonic stem cell (hESC) lines were approved for deposit in the Bank in May 2004.
As of March 2012, more than 90 hESC lines have been approved for banking, derived from both UK and international centres, with 22 quality controlled lines currently available for distribution to the research community. The Bank has established an international profile for developing the best ways to bank stem cell lines for research and therapy, and actively supports national and international research and training programmes.