Australian stem cell company Genea Biocells is now the largest single contributor to the human embryonic stem cell lines approved for use by the Steering Committee for the United Kingdom Stem Cell Bank (UKSCB) with 84 human embryonic stem cell (hESC) lines approved for research in the UK.
The approval by the UK Steering Committee of Genea’s hESC lines provides UK and European academic and commercial researchers with access to innovative cellular tools to drive the discovery of new treatments for serious genetic or acquired diseases.
Amongst the 84 stem cell lines now registered with the UK Stem Cell Bank are both unaffected lines and those affected by a range of genetic diseases including 54 disease-specific hESC lines representing 30 different genetic conditions. These genetic diseases include:
- neurodegenerative conditions such as Huntington’s disease, tuberous sclerosis and infantile neuroaxonal dystrophy; and
- neuromuscular disorders such as Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease, Becker muscular dystrophy, myotonic dystrophy and FSHD
- chromosomal abnormalities such as Turner Syndrome (X Monosomy), Trisomy 5, 8, 21 and 22 .
Genea Biocells General Manager Uli Schmidt welcomed the registration of the lines, a first for an Australian company.
“These cell lines will give UK and European scientists vital and adaptable platforms to find treatments, and hopefully cures, for some of the most devastating diseases humans face today,” Dr Schmidt said.
“The approval of the cell lines by the UK Steering Committee is an acknowledgement of Genea Biocells’ expertise and leadership in this field and reflects the exceptionally high ethical standards under which the company operates.”
Genea Biocells’ human embryonic stem cells are derived from embryos voluntarily donated by patients who have undergone in vitro fertilisation – often in conjunction with preimplantation genetic diagnosis (PGD) – at Genea’s fertility clinics.