Europe's First Useable Stem Cell Line

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Stem-Cell Usable Factory

A $3.7 million project that will position Scotland as a world leader in the commercialization and clinical use of stem cell technology will be established in Edinburgh.

Under the direction of internationally renowned scientist Dr Paul De Sousa, the Roslin Cells Centre (RCC) will create human stem cell lines for research and clinical use from donated eggs and embryos. These will be marketed to the international stem cell community to help speed up the process of translating laboratory research into effective clinical treatments of diseases such as Leukaemia, Parkinson's disease and diabetes.

The centre, which is initially being funded by Scottish Enterprise Edinburgh and Lothian, will also act as the first step in a supply chain to support the development of the wider stem cell sector in Scotland, providing cells that can be used by academics, NHS Scotland and commercial companies.

Dr De Sousa, Senior Research Fellow at the University of Edinburgh and project manager for the Roslin Cells Centre, commented: "As a not-for-profit initiative, the Roslin Cells Centre will make clinically usable stem cell lines available under a range of negotiated terms, including one-off payments without reach through rights for RCC. This approach will provide huge benefits to academics and companies already working in the stem cell field or seeking to enter it."

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A unique partnership approach capitalises on The University of Edinburgh and Roslin Institute's expertise in stem cell research and development, with the involvement of Scottish National Blood Transfusion Service helping to ensure the centre meets Good Manufacturing Practice conditions needed for the stem cell lines to be suitable for clinical use.

The centre will also act as the first step in a supply chain to support the development of the wider stem cell sector in Scotland, providing cells that can be used by academics, NHS Scotland and commercial companies.

Neil Francis, Deputy Chief Executive at Scottish Enterprise Edinburgh and Lothian, added: "As well as having huge potential to make significant breakthroughs in the treatment of some of the most debilitating diseases, the stem cell sector has the potential to become one of the key drivers of Scotland's knowledge economy.

"The Roslin Cells Centre is an important step in establishing a strong commercial sector based on Scotland's existing world class scientific strengths. The pioneering work of Paul De Sousa will not only help to enhance the international reputation of the Roslin Institute and the University of Edinburgh but also position Scotland as one of the world-leaders in stem cell activity leading to future investment and employment within the sector."

Professor Harry Griffin, Director of the Roslin Institute added: "Roslin Cells Centre builds on the past success of Paul de Sousa and his colleagues in establishing several new embryonic stem cell lines and this new initiative represents a key step in the drive to deliver safe and effective stem cell therapies.

Professor John Savill, Head of College of Medicine and Veterinary Medicine at the University of Edinburgh said: "This is an exciting development that will further strengthen Scotland's leading position in the regenerative medicine field."

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