About the EBiSC project
EBiSC has been designed to address the increasing demand by iPSC researchers for quality-controlled, disease-relevant research grade iPSC lines, data and cell services. After four years of collaborative efforts funded by the Innovative Medicine Initiative and EFPIA members (2014-2017), EBiSC has managed to set up an operational banking and distribution service of iPSC lines and to establish subsequently for Europe a centralised, not-for-profit bank providing all qualified users with access to scalable, cost-efficient and customised products. Funding continues via EBiSC2 (2019-2022).
The EBiSC Consortium (2014-2017) including EFPIA partners boasted the leadership, scientific expertise, facilities, networks and experience to achieve those goals and, being representative of all stakeholders from tissue donors to clinical and academic iPSC researchers and industrial users, to respond appropriately to advances in science and society. Led by Pfizer Ltd (2014-2016) followed by Janssen Pharmaceutica (2017) and managed by Roslin Cells Sciences Ltd., the Consortium comprised eight active participant iPSC Centres with clinical and patient networks, a global leader in industrial iPSC supply, international experts in iPSC science, biobanking, bioengineering and regenerative medicine, and scholars in law and ethics.
The main facility has initially been set up at the Babraham Research Campus (Cambridge, UK) undertaking cell expansion, Quality Control and characterisation. Since 2017, the EBiSC Banking Entity is being represented by the European Cell Culture Collection (ECACC) of Public Health England (Department of Health, UK) who coordinates cell line distribution worldwide. The Fraunhofer IBMT (Saarbrücken, Germany) provides comprehensive operational back up.
EBiSC is currently holding about 800 cell lines in its catalogue, with a capacity up to 10,000 cell lines. EBiSC started in 2014 with a set of hot-start iPSC lines contributed by iPSC Centres, collecting and generating further iPSC lines based on specified user demand, and reached full scale operations in 2016. To become self-sustaining as a not for profit banking operation in the next few years will be the ultimate goal.
Global iPSC banking
EBiSC will spearhead Europe in the international standardisation of iPSC banking by forging collaborative links with similar endeavours in the USA and Asia. Through market research, stakeholder engagement, incentives and training, EBiSC will promote wider participation and use, maximise the value of the research resource, and secure its longevity. EBiSC will promote iPSC technology and global iPSC banking, strengthen the competitiveness of European R&D, and enhance the health and wealth of nations.