List of Partners

The Consortium of the initial EBiSC project (2014-2017) represented all relevant stakeholders from tissue donors to clinical and academic iPSC researchers and industrial users to provide the scientific expertise, facilities, networks and experience required to achieve the European Bank for induced pluripotent Stem Cells and respond appropriately to advances in science and society.

Led by Janssen Pharmaceutica and managed by Roslin Cells Sciences Ltd., the Consortium comprised during the initial project phase (2014-2017) eight active participant iPSC Centres with clinical and patient networks, a global leader in industrial iPSC supply, international experts in iPSC science, biobanking, bioengineering, regenerative medicine and data management, and scholars in law and ethics.

For the second project phase (2019-2022) the EBiSC2 Consortium concentrates on key partners with the necessary core expertise, knowledge and operational capacity to achieve the EBiSC bank's sustainability and bundle the necessary financial resources. The Consortium is again led by Janssen Pharmaceutica and now coordinated by Fraunhofer IBMT.

EBiSC Funders

The Innovative Medicines Initiative 2 JU (IMI2 JU) is working to improve health by speeding up the development of, and patient access to, the next generation of medicines, particularly in areas where there is an unmet medical or social need. It does this by facilitating collaboration between the key players involved in healthcare research, including universities, pharmaceutical companies, other companies active in healthcare research, small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), patient organisations, and medicines regulators. This approach has proven highly successful, and IMI projects are delivering exciting results that are helping to advance the development of urgently-needed new treatments in diverse areas.

The IMI2 JU is a partnership between the European Union and the European pharmaceutical industry, represented by the European Federation of Pharmaceutical Industries and Associations (EFPIA). Through the IMI 2 programme, the IMI2 JU has a budget of €3.3 billion for the period 2014-2024. Half of this comes from the EU’s research and innovation programme, Horizon 2020. The other half comes from large companies, mostly from the pharmaceutical sector; these do not receive any EU funding, but contribute to the projects ‘in kind’, for example by donating their researchers’ time or providing access to research facilities or resources.

For more information on IMI:

Universities, research organisations, public bodies, non-profit groups:

The strategy of the Fraunhofer Institute for Biomedical Engineering (IBMT) is focused on the areas of biomedical/medical engineering (especially non-invasive and minimally invasive as well as miniaturized technologies), biotechnology, implants, cryotechnology, biobanks and stem cell research. Decades of expertise in biotechnological and medical research and development fields also allows Fraunhofer IBMT to solve a variety of purely technical tasks including automated in vitro culture devices. For many years, Fraunhofer IBMT has been working successfully in the field of stem cell research and has been the first institute of the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft to obtain licences of the Robert Koch Institute to import and use human embryonic stem cells for scientific purposes. In recent years this has been extended to the production and characterization / expansion of induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs).

More information: »

In the initial EBiSC phase, Fraunhofer IBMT established the mirror bank, coordinated and developed automation strategies for iPSC expansion and cryopreservation, and adviced on innovative banking technologies. In EBiSC2, Fraunhofer IBMT is the project coordinator and contributes with its broad expertise to all work packages with the lead in automation / upscaling, project management and business development. Fraunhofer IBMT together with Charité will implement the required legal and administrative infrastructure for taking responsibility of the legal entity of the European iPSC biobank at the end of the funding period and will provide operational sustainability of the biobank beyond project duration in collaboration with DH-ECACC.

Charité University Berlin is one of the largest university hospitals in Europe. Charité hosts the BIH Center for Regenerative Therapies (BCRT) with a focus on advanced therapies. Charité manages the human pluripotent stem cell registry (hPSCreg), which serves as the data entry, storage and interoperability platform for EBiSC. The large and highly characterised patient source at Charité is a potential source for generating iPSC-lines at its state-of-the-art stem cell core facility.

More information: »

In the initial EBiSC phase, Charité build the core of the EBiSC catalogue and the information management system. In EBiSC2, Charité continues in its responsible role for the information management system and supports iPSC cohort collections and reprogramming.

Public Health England is the custodian of four unique collections that consist of expertly preserved, authenticated cell lines and microbial strains of known provenance for use in medical science and laboratory healthcare.

All the collections are developed, managed and maintained by highly trained, dedicated staff who work in accordance with internationally recognised quality standards including certification to ISO 9001:2008.

Cultures from the collections are used by scientists who need to reassure themselves and others that the materials they are using are authentic, so the conclusions to their studies are valid and relevant. This is particularly important where research may lead to peer-reviewed publications, for example, in drug discovery and vaccine efficacy studies. Authenticated reference strains are also of paramount importance for clinical diagnostic testing, food, water and environmental microbiology testing and validation studies.

ECACC is one of the four collections of the Culture Collections of Public Health England. As has been the case since its inception, ECACC continues to operate out of the Porton Down site, which is part of Public Health England, UK

The European Collection of Cell Cultures (ECACC) was established in 1984 as a cell culture collection to service the research community and provide an International Depository Authority recognised patent depository for Europe. Over the last 30 years ECACC has expanded and diversified to become one of the premier collections of authenticated cell cultures in the world and this remains the core of ECACC's business. The collections currently hold over 40,000 cell lines representing 45 different species, 50 tissue types, 300 HLA types, 450 monoclonal antibodies and at least 800 genetic disorders. ECACC supplies globally through its distributors, Sigma-Aldrich, KAC and CellBank Australia.

More information: »

Bioneer A/S is an innovative research-based non-for-profit organization with a history of more than 25 years. Bioneer is a subsidiary of the Technical University of Denmark. Since 2006, Bioneer has worked extensively on the development and implementation of applied stem cell technologies and stem cell focused platforms, within both multipotent and pluripotent stem cells. Bioneer has established a national iPSC core facility that operates in a variety of national and international research programs. Bioneer has developed and implemented iPSC platforms and genome editing technology (CRISPR/Cas) platforms and a variety of specialized differentiation protocols. Bioneer has extensive experience in developing and subsequent implementation of iPSC-derived disease and toxicity model systems to industry and the research community.

More information: »

In the initial EBiSC phase, Bioneer advised on validating the end-product, contributed with genome editing and disease modelling and was one of the key centres in charge of new cell line commissioning. In EBiSC2, Bioneer continues in its key role as coordinator of several proof-of-concept studies in differentiation and maturation.

The KU Leuven Stem Cell Institute was founded in 2006 with to develop stem cell research focuses around tissue specific stem cells as well as pluripotent stem cells, evaluating basic properties of stem cells and their role in organ development/therapy in the different organ specific programs.

More information: »

In EBiSC2, KU Leuven will be responsible for creation of additional iPSC lines and co-cultures of glia and neurons in 2D and 3D.

EFPIA companies:

At Janssen, we're creating a future where disease is a thing of the past. We're the Pharmaceutical Companies of Johnson & Johnson, working tirelessly to make that future a reality for patients everywhere by fighting sickness with science, improving access with ingenuity, and healing hopelessness with heart. We focus on areas of medicine where we can make the biggest difference: cardiovascular & metabolism, immunology, infectious diseases & vaccines, neuroscience, oncology and pulmonary hypertension.

More information: »

In the initial EBiSC phase, Janssen advised on validation of the end-product, contributed to research on neurodegenerative diseases and, in 2017, took over the project leader's role from Pfizer. In EBiSC2, Janssen continues as the project leader to overall project management and business development. Upscaling of iPSC production technology to the needs of pharma industry will be one focus of Janssen. The Janssen Neuroscience department in EBiSC2 will be contributing to exploring iPSC to study Neurodegenerative Diseases, including Alzheimer's and Parkinson's disease. Another topic for Janssen will be the analysis of iPSC-derived cardiomyocytes for early toxicity assessments.

Bayer is a global enterprise with core competencies in the Life Science fields of health care and nutrition. Its products and services are designed to benefit people by supporting efforts to overcome the major challenges presented by a growing and aging global population. At the same time, the Group aims to increase its earning power and create value through innovation and growth. Bayer is committed to the principles of sustainable development, and the Bayer brand stands for trust, realiability and quality throughout the world.
At Pharmaceuticals, our largest segment in terms of sales, we focus on researching, developing and marketing specialty-focused innovative medicines that provide significant clinical benefit and value, primarily in the therapeutic areas of cardiology, oncology, gynecology, hematology and ophthalmology. The division also comprises the radiology business, which markets diagnostic imaging equipment together with the necessary contrast agents. In this way, we are addressing the growing requirements of patients, physicians, health care payers and regulatory agencies.
Bayer considers human pluripotent stem cells and stem cell-derived cardiomyocytes a valuable and promising tool in the drug discovery process, especially in the target identification and validation.

More information: »

In the initial EBiSC phase, Bayer contributed to the proof-of-concept studies and provided expert advice. In EBiSC2, Bayer continues its contributions to functional testing of hiPSC-derived cardiomyocytes and assessing the maturity as well as reproducibility / viability of these cells after upscaling and cryopreservation.

Lilly was founded in 1876 by Colonel Eli Lilly, a man committed to creating high-quality medicines that met real needs in an era of unreliable elixirs peddled by questionable characters. His charge to the generations of employees who have followed was this: "Take what you find here and make it better and better."
More than 140 years later, we remain committed to his vision through every aspect of our business and the people we serve starting with those who take our medicines, and extending to health care professionals, employees and the communities in which we live. Lilly is a global healthcare leader that unites caring with discovery to create medicines that make life better for people around the world. Across the globe, Lilly employees work to discover and bring life-changing medicines to those who need them, improve the understanding and management of disease, and give back to communities through philanthropy and volunteerism.

More information: »

Lundbeck is a pharmaceutical company engaged in the research, development, production, marketing and sale of CNS pharmaceuticals across the world. We target depression and anxiety, psychotic diseases, epilepsy and Huntington’s, Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases.

Key staff involved in EBiSC

Jan Egebjerg (Vice President) – Dr. Jan Egebjerg is responsible for the Neurodegenerative discovery at Lundbeck. He has for over 20 years been involved in drug discovery from target identification and validation to translational medicine, within neurodegenerative and psychiatric diseases. Jan Egebjerg is vice chair for” Patient-Specific Stem Cell Derived Models for Alzheimer´s Disease” a Danish advanced technology funded project.

Karina Fog (Director) – Dr. Karina Fog heads the discovery department Neurodegeneration 1. She has 19 years’ experience in Drug Discovery on cell based disease models, target finding screens and target validation. Current focus in the department is late-stage neurodegenerative disease projects, biomarker initiatives, as well as identification and validation of novel drug targets addressing misfolded proteins in neurodegeneration.

Tina C. Stummann (Research Scientist) – Dr. Tina Stummann leads Lundbeck’s stem cell group. She has 7+ years of experience in electrophysiology, neuronal differentiation of pluripotent stem cells and establishment of stem cell based in vitro models. Her current primary work task is establishment of Alzheimer’s disease and Frontotemporal dementia based on iPSC from patients. Participation in international ESC EC framework projects.

More information: »

At Novo Nordisk, we are driving change to defeat diabetes and otherserious chronic diseases. Novo Nordisk is a global healthcare company with more than 95 years of innovation and leadership in diabetes care. This heritage has given us experience and capabilities that also enable us to help people defeat other serious chronic diseases: haemophilia, growth disordersand obesity.
Headquartered in Denmark, Novo Nordisk employs approximately 43,200 people in 80 countries andmarkets its products in more than 170 countries.

In the initial EBiSC phase, Novo Nordisk contributed to proof-of-concept studies and ensured valuable connections to IMI's stem cell project StemBANCC. In EBiSC2, Novo Nordisk is co-leading the Upscaling of iPSC workflows and contributes to developing up-scaling and automation technologies for culturing hiPSC as well as pancreatic cells derived from hiPSCs.

More information: »

UCB, founded in 1928, is a global biopharmaceutical company with 8 700 people in approximately 40 countries. UCB is focused on the discovery and development of innovative medicines and solutions to transform the lives of people living with severe diseases of the immune system or of the central nervous system. 

Key staff involved in EBiSC

Patrik Foerch (Sr. Director) – Patrik Foerch obtained his PhD from EMBL Heidelberg. Patrik joined UCB Neuroscience in Belgium in 2006 and is currently Head of Molecular Biology and Gene Expression.

Frank Atienzar (Associate Director) – Franck Atienzar obtained his PhD in 2000 at the University of Plymouth (UK). Franck joined Non-Clinical Development (UCB) in 2002 and is currently Head of in silico and in vitro toxicology.

Alison Maloney (Director) – Alison Maloney obtained her PhD in 2001 at the Institute of Cancer Research, London.  She joined UCB in Slough in 2003 and is currently Director, Cellular Sciences (Mode of Action) group.  

More information: »

Neusentis (‘new science therapeutics’) is a research unit of Pfizer. Being the only UK based research unit of Pfizer Inc, its personnel are well placed to assist in the organization’s engagement in European externally funded collaborative research programs. The therapeutic area foci of Neusentis are pain and sensory disorders and the research unit has specialism in human iPSC technology as applied in disease modelling, drug target validation and precision medicine. Pfizer has a rich pedigree of successful participation in IMI funded projects, being a leader/partner in 24 past and presently funded projects.

Key staff involved in EBiSC

Tim Allsopp (PhD, Head of External Research Regenerative Medicine and EBiSC project co-ordinator) – He was previously CSO of a stem cell SME and has worked as a stem cell subject matter specialist for the last 15 years.  He is advisory group member the Commercialization Committee of the ISCT,  co-chair of the industry committee of the ISSCR and recently been elected industry representative of the ISSCR Executive. He holds a Programme Associate position at the Cambridge university MBE course in biotechnology.

Alex Gutteridge (PhD) – Research Fellow bioinformatics in Neusentis. Alex has a strong track record in fields relating to genomics, stem cell biology, bioinformatics and drug target analysis and works closely with cell & molecular biology team performing analysis on RNAseq, expression profiling data. Alex has been instrumental in the development of a number of software algorithms for information management and supports a large number of portfolio projects in Neusentis. 

James Eshelby (head of Pfizer’s EU R&D Business Development group) – is based at Neusentis, in Cambridge UK. James is responsible for a team that evaluates and negotiates new alliances and manages a portfolio of active license and collaboration deals with biotechs, universities and other corporations. James has a strong track record in leading business development activities for several disciplines in Pfizer, including the project agreements for a number if IMI projects and for implementing open innovation and creative deals structures.

Anja Nitzsche – has set up the iPSC platform in Neusentis. Her further work involves differentiation of patient derived iPSCs to functional sensory neurons and their molecular characterisation aimed to explore mechanisms to better understand the drug response of patients with a genetic linkage to pain & other sensory neuron diseases. Anja has a background in molecular cell biology and an extensive track record with embryonic stem cells.

Laura Kammonen (Senior Associate Scientist) – is involved in pluripotent cell culture and differentiation at Neusentis. She is assessing the use of automation in pluripotent cell culture for EBiSC.

More information: »

Takeda Pharmaceutical Company Limited is a global, values-based, R&D-driven biopharmaceutical leader headquartered in Japan, committed to bringing Better Health and a Brighter Future to patients by translating science into highly-innovative medicines. Takeda focuses its R&D efforts on four therapeutic areas: Oncology, Gastroenterology (GI), Rare Diseases and Neuroscience. We also make targeted R&D investments in Plasma-Derived Therapies and Vaccines. We are focusing on developing highly innovative medicines that contribute to making a difference in people's lives by advancing the frontier of new treatment options and leveraging our enhanced collaborative R&D engine and capabilities to create a robust, modality-diverse pipeline. Our employees are committed to improving quality of life for patients and to working with our partners in health care in approximately 80 countries and regions.

More information: »

In EBiSC2, Takeda contributes to exploring iPSC to study neurodegenerative diseases.

Innovation Management Consultancy:

ARTTIC, a company of the PNO Consultants Group, is the European leader in collaboration engineering, consultancy and management services for international research and technology-related partnerships. ARTTIC assists clients from all business and research sectors, small and large, private and public, to ensure the success of their collaborative research & innovation ventures.
Since its foundation in 1987, ARTTIC developed and demonstrated expertise in the set-up and management of to date 400 large-scale ambitious projects of which 96 were successful under H2020 calls. Based on its long-standing experience in a range of funding programmes across scientific and technological domains, ARTTIC helps clients to move from strategic plans to effective competitive research and development of innovative solutions, resulting in successful applications and businesses.

More information: »

In the initial EBiSC phase, ARTTIC was responsible both for the daily operational management of the project office and for the coordination and practical execution of dissemination and communication tasks. In addition, ARTTIC shared valuable expertise in consultancy and management of numerous R&D related partnerships of relevance to the project. In EBiSC2, ARTTIC continues its role as contributor to the development and implementation of a marketing strategy and is in charge of the project office.