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NIBSC Signs Agreement with UCL

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A Memorandum of Understanding has been signed between the National Institute for Biological Standards and Control and University College London (UCL).

The memorandum recognizes the tremendous promise of gene therapy, stem cell therapy and tissue engineering in preventing and treating illness, restoring health and saving lives.

It also recognizes the unique and critical roles that NIBSC and UCL play in providing the research community with expertly-maintained research materials to facilitate studies into advanced therapies.

The memorandum states that both parties should share common goals, to help safeguard and enhance public health in the UK and elsewhere. Best available science should be applied to the international harmonization of standards for characterization, production and distribution, and the availability of cell lines and other key materials of appropriate quality for research and clinical use should be facilitated.

Professor Mary Collins head of the Advanced Therapies at NIBSC said: “Advanced therapies such as stem cell treatments have huge potential in directly targeting and treating a range of conditions. This link up with University College London will greatly help to take forward studies into the properties and potential therapeutic applications of advanced therapies.

“It will help to develop a group of world-class UK scientists to underpin the development of the UK as a centre for research and manufacture in gene therapy, stem cell therapy and tissue engineering.”

A steering group will be created made up of a principal and associate from each of NIBSC and UCL with the remit of:

• harmonizing standards for gene therapy, stem cell therapy and tissue engineering characterization, production and distribution
• providing thought leadership in safety and efficacy of gene therapy, stem cell therapy and tissue engineering
• identify opportunities for research projects that will lead to joint publications
• support staff exchange visits and secondments to develop research collaborations and share best practice
• run joint MSc courses, support PhD students and continued professional development (CPD) in relevant areas