In addition to international scientific collaborations such as International
Stem Cell Initiative and hESCReg projects, the Bank is involved in promoting
ethical and regulatory activities to aid the international transfer and use of
human stem cell lines.
International Stem Cell Banking Initiative
In 2007 the International Stem Cell Forum funded a proposal from the UK Stem
Cell Bank to bring together the various centres developing human stem cell
banks. In 2008 the International Stem Cell Banking Initiative (ISCBI) was
inaugurated. Its purpose is to help develop a global network of stem cell banks
through support for existing banks and by encouraging the development of new
banks in member countries. It will aid stem cell banks to share knowledge about
ethical and regulatory issues in member countries and assist in the development
of an agreed set of consensus international minimum standards for banking,
characterisation and testing, thereby creating a solid framework for
international stem cell banking and research.
Concentrating initially on the producing guidance for “Research or Laboratory
Grade” stem cell lines, workshops were held in Beijing, China and Bar Harbor,
USA in 2008. Places at these workshops are restricted to two representatives
per ISCF member country (one banking and one regulatory representative) and a
small number of invited guests with special expertise. To ensure broad
international input a number of non-ISCF countries also attended. Delegates
came from more than 17 countries and there has been broad representation from
Asia, North America and Europe.
The first published output from the ISCBI has been a guidance document on the
principles of best practice for the supply of hESC lines for research purposes
which has been published in Stem Cell Reviews and Reports (Consensus
guidance for banking and supply of human embryonic stem cell lines for research
purposes. Stem Cell Rev., 5, 301-314.(2009)).
Currently, consensus guidance is being prepared for Clinical Grade stem cell
lines and theis too will be published.
For more information on International Stem Cell Banking Initiative go to
their website here.