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Roslin Cells Centre Launched

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Roslin Institute, Scottish Enterprise Edinburgh and Lothian, the University of Edinburgh and Scottish National Blood Transfusion Service (SNBTS) have announced a £2 million project "The Roslin Cells Centre (RCC)", a partnership between these organizations.

The centre will create clinically useable human stem cell lines compliant with UK and European regulatory requirements.

Under the direction of Dr Paul De Sousa, the Centre 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 Leukemia, Parkinson’s Disease and Diabetes.

Dr De Sousa 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."

The partnership approach capitalises on each partner’s expertise in stem cell research and development, with the involvement of SNBTS 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 a 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 initative represents a key step in the drive to deliver safe and effective stem cell therapies."