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UK Stem Cell Bank to distribute University of Sheffield cell lines

Human stem cells lines developed at the University of Sheffield are, for the first time, going to be distributed by the UK Stem Cell Bank (UKSCB) for potential use in medical therapies and research. MShef7

Neurons differentiated from a MasterShef Stem Cell Line (Credit UKRMP Hub (PSCP)

Stem cells are important because they are able to become the specialised cell types that make up the various tissue types in our body. The ability of stem cells to become specialised cells has opened up the exciting clinical field of stem cell medicine, which offers the potential to treat degenerative diseases and injuries.

Researchers of the Centre for Stem Cell Biology (CSCB) at the University of Sheffield have created a number of stem cell lines suitable for use in research. More recently the scientists have been working with the UKSCB to obtain independent verification that the MasterShef stem cell lines, produced in the Stem Cell Derivation Facility at the CSCB, are of sufficiently high quality, and comply with current EU legislation, for use in clinical research and, potentially, in therapeutic use.

Professor Marcelo Rivolta, a CSCB scientist, explained, “The human stem cell lines have been produced in a dedicated “clean room” laboratory, following strict operational and quality procedures to ensure they serve as safe and reliable clinical and research tools.

“The UK regulations for the derivation of such cells (monitored by the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority) state that we must deposit all lines with the UKSCB, which then distributes the cells worldwide for research and to those wishing to develop cell lines for clinical application.”

CSCBlogo Dr Zoe Hewitt, Quality Manager at the CSCB Stem Cell Derivation Facility said “We are delighted that three of the Centre for Stem Cell Biology lines, developed here in Sheffield, have been successfully verified and are going to be the first clinical grade stem cells to be made available by the UKSCB.”

Professor Glyn Stacey, Director of UKSCB said, “In partnership with our depositors we are at the forefront of innovation, making a panel of European Union Tissues and Cells Directives (EUTCD)-Grade stem cell lines available for the development of clinical therapies.

“Our stem cell lines will be a significant step forward in getting regenerative medicines onto the market.”

Professor Rivolta is developing a therapeutic approach to treat hearing loss using stem cells. He explained, “The aim of my group’s research is to take stem cells, induce them to produce cells from a part of the inner ear called the cochlea, and use them to repair the damaged cochlea of deaf patients to restore their hearing.”

Researchers around the world are studying potential stem cell therapies for many diseases and conditions including Parkinson’s disease, stroke, blindness and spinal injury. The availability of approved lines such as the University of Sheffield cells now being distributed by the UKSCB will, it is hoped, provide even greater opportunity for speedy progress in the field.

More information about the UK Stem Cell Bank is available at nibsc.org/ukstemcellbank

For more information about the Centre for Stem Cell Biology at the University of Sheffield, please visit sheffield.ac.uk/cscb

To read other news releases about the University of Sheffield, visit sheffield.ac.uk/news

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