London, UK, 13 November 2007. Plasticell, the biotechnology company developing regenerative drugs using high throughput stem cell technologies, has announced that Dr Yen Choo, the company’s Chief Executive, has been appointed to the Steering Committee for the UK Stem Cell Bank and for the Use of Stem Cell Lines.
Dr Choo is the first member of the Committee recruited from the biotechnology industry – he joins experts in science, medicine, ethics and theology as well as lay members and representatives from regulatory and funding agencies.
“The Steering Committee and its published ‘Code of Practice for the use of Human Stem Cell Lines’ are globally acclaimed regulatory models that have greatly helped the UK secure a leading position in the field” said Dr Choo. “I look forward to serving on the Committee and to helping lay the foundations for the translation of this research into pioneering therapies for serious diseases”.
About the Steering Committee
The Steering Committee is an independent national committee overseeing the UK Stem Cell Bank and all research involving established human embryonic stem cell lines in the UK. The Steering Committee is a non- statutory body that works closely with the Department of Health, the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA) and the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA). The Stem Cell Bank Management Committee, which deals with day-to-day issues relating to the Bank, reports formally to the Steering Committee which in turn reports annually to the Medical Research Council (MRC) and to ministers. It is the role of the Steering Committee to support stem cell research and to ensure that this is conducted within an ethical framework that is transparent to the public. More information relating to the Steering Committee and its members is available on the MRC website:
About the UK Stem Cell Bank
The UK Stem Cell Bank was established at the National Institute for Biological Standards and Control (NIBSC) in 2003, with funding from the Medical Research Council (MRC) and the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC), to curate ethically sourced, quality controlled human stem cell lines from all sources (adult, foetal and embryonic) on a single site. The Bank facilitates the sharing of quality controlled stem cell lines by the clinical and research communities and thus supports research to better understand human development and disease and aid the development of treatments for serious illnesses. For more information see: www.mrc.ac.uk/PolicyGuidance/EthicsAndGovernance/StemCells/index.htm
Plasticell is a privately held, London-based biotechnology company using innovative, high throughput stem cell technologies and novel drug discovery platforms to dissect the mechanisms leading to differentiation of stem cells, the master cells responsible for tissue development and repair. Plasticell’s research focus is to discover regenerative small molecule drugs. The company also forms industry alliances by partnering its Combinatorial Cell Culture™ technology for high throughput stem cell differentiation to derive cell lines and reagents for research and therapy applications. For more information please visit the company’s website: www.plasticell.co.uk