CIRM Opens World’s Largest Stem Cell Bank To Facilitate Research
On Tuesday, the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine opened a publicly available stem cell bank to help facilitate the development of cures for genetic diseases and conditions, such as Alzheimer's disease and autism, the Sacramento Bee reports.
Details of Bank
The Stem Cell Bank will be housed at the Buck Institute for Research in Novato (Khury, Sacramento Bee, 9/1). It was funded through a $32 million CIRM grant awarded in 2013, of which:
- About half went to Cellular Dynamics International, which converts the cells into different cell lines;
- About $10 million went to the Coriell Institute for Medical Research, which stores the cells at Buck and distributes them globally; and
- $6 million has been earmarked for clinicians at seven California locations -- including Stanford University and UC-San Francisco -- to collect skin or blood samples from consenting patients (Leuty, "BiotechSF," San Francisco Business Times, 9/1).
The bank already has 300 induced pluripotent stem cell lines available to researchers. Such cells are grown from donated adult skin and blood cells, and they can be reprogrammed into different cells, such as those from a brain, heart or liver.
Researchers can purchase the cell lines to study 11 common diseases and conditions, including:
- Alzheimer's disease;
- Cerebral palsy;
- Epilepsy; and
- Heart, lung and liver diseases (O'Neill, "KPCC News," KPCC, 9/1).
According to the Bee, each purchase will include extensive demographic and clinical data.
The bank is expected to house 750 cell lines by February 2016.
CIRM spokesperson Kevin McCormack said the goal is to eventually reach 9,000 lines (Sacramento Bee, 9/1). CIRM officials say the bank is the largest in the world, based on the number of donors.
According to "BiotechSF," some of the donated cells will be from adults with specific conditions, while others will be from healthy individuals, to be used as a control group ("BiotechSF," San Francisco Business Times, 9/1).
Prices for the cells vary based on the number ordered and the type of research being conducted (Sacramento Bee, 9/1).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.