The pharmaceutical company Roche are promoting the creation of an iPS cell bank in collaboration with 23 academic groups coordinated by Zamel Carder of the Stem Cell Institute at Oxford University, according to an article published in Nature Biotechnology (31;11,2013).

The project, known as “StemBANCC”, is supported financially by 55.6 million Euros and is part of a European mixed public-private initiative (Innovative Medicines Initiative).

At the same time, the United Kingdom intends to establish a national iPS cell bank for which 20.5 million dollars has been allocated. Both projects are aimed at obtaining genetically modified iPS cell lines which can be used as tools for future research projects, especially to assess new drugs. According to the sponsors of both banks, this is a unique opportunity to create a non-profit bank on an industrial scale that can serve as a European bank for storage and distribution of iPS cells.

The bank, sponsored by Roche and Oxford University, and by another 23 academic groups, would like to obtain 1500 genetically defined iPS cell lines, obtained from 500 patients, to be used as biological material to study a wide range of diseases. For its part, the United Kingdom bank proposes creating iPS cell lines from 500 healthy individuals and another 500 patients with genetic diseases.