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WiCell and Advanced Cell Technology Offer to Distribute Stem Cell Lines to U.S. Researchers

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The WiCell Research Institute and Advanced Cell Technology have announced an agreement, in principle, to collaborate to jointly distribute to U.S. scientists a range of cell lines.

These stem cell lines would be produced using a recently announced technique in the journal Nature, provided that the United States federal government recognizes these lines and funds research utilizing them.

Under their collaboration, agreed in principle between the parties, Advanced Cell Technology and WiCell hope to make the stem cell lines readily available to U.S. scientists for medical research.

In its role as the National Stem Cell Bank, WiCell has taken a leadership role in providing cells to academic researchers by providing a free license and training to scientists interested in pursuing this technology.

350 academic research groups are working with cells from WiCell. Under the agreement in principle, WiCell, a subsidiary of the Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation (WARF), would distribute stem cell lines derived from Advanced Cell Technology's proprietary method, if approved by the President and the National Institutes of Health

"Provided that the federal government is willing to fund future human embryonic stem cell research where it can be demonstrated that the embryo was not harmed, we will do our part in scaling up many new lines under Good Manufacturing Processes (GMP) guidelines and making such lines available," stated William M. Caldwell, IV., Chief Executive Officer of Advanced Cell Technology.

"We are well aware of the impact that delays in advancing new therapies can have on people in need of therapy and provided that the federal government advances legislation in an expeditious manner, we will make the derivation of new lines a company priority."

"Advanced Cell Technology's development is very encouraging," stated Elizabeth Donley, Executive Director of WiCell.

"We are hopeful that future human embryonic stem cells created by this new process can be approved for federal funding."

"Increasing the number of federally funded stem cell lines is essential for speeding the development of this important technology to treat many of human kind's most serious diseases and injuries."

"WiCell has agreements to distribute 13 of the 21 lines currently available on the National Institutes of Health Registry. We will continue our effort to provide all lines that are eligible for federal funding."