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Thumbs up for stem cell bank

Scientists applaud UK's 'superb' facilities but hope approval process speeds up

Pat Hagan(pat.hagan@btconnect.com)

The first scientists to deposit cell lines in the UK Stem Cell Bank have described the facilities as “superb” and applauded its staff for getting it off the ground so quickly.

But they also hope the approval process speeds up—the first deposits took 6 months to clear—and they want key issues to be resolved as soon as possible, such as the recovery of costs and liability for any cell lines borrowed from the bank.

The Medical Research Council (MRC), which partly funds the bank, officially declared it open for business earlier this week when it announced that two cell lines had been accepted for storage at its facilities in South Mimms, just north of London.

The lines, which are both research grade rather than clinical grade material, have been supplied by King's College London and the Centre for Life in Newcastle, a nonprofit organization partly funded by the universities...

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