The facilities for research-grade stem cells at the UK's stem cell bank are ready for use, but it will be several months before the same can be said of facilities for lines for therapeutic purposes, a London-based conference heard this week.

The director of the new stem cell bank, Glyn Stacey, told the Medical Research Council's international stem cell conference that the first applications to deposit and access the research-grade stem cell lines are currently being processed.

But work on the facility for clinical grade stem cell lines, which could be used for the production of human therapeutic materials, is still ongoing.

The three clinical-grade laboratories, which will conform to EU pharmaceutical standards, should be finished next month and operational by early next year.

"There is a perception in some outside groups that you can set up a GMP [Good Manufacturing Practice]–grade facility in months, but it just doesn't work...

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