History of the European Bank for iPSCs

EBiSC was established to address the increasing demand by iPSC researchers for quality-controlled, disease-relevant research grade iPSC lines, data and cell services. The project was funded by two rounds of funding from the Innovative Medicines Initiative Joint Undertaking programme (IMI JU) with financial support from the European Union and in-kind contributions from EFPIA companies.

Phase 1: EBiSC (2014-2017) đź”—

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. Initially led by Pfizer, then Janssen, and coordinated by Roslin Cell 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.

Phase 2: EBiSC2 (2019-2023) đź”—

The EBiSC2 Consortium used a foundation of key partners with the necessary core expertise, knowledge and operational capacity to achieve sustainability for the EBiSC. Fraunhofer IBMT, responsible for the mirror bank of EBiSC since 2014, coordinated EBiSC2 and enabled participation of key individuals from the first project phase via Fraunhofer UK and also via continued participation of the European Collection of Authenticated Cell Cultures and the human Pluripotent Stem Cell registry (hPSCreg). The Consortium was again led by Janssen Pharmaceutica and focused on assessing and updating all aspects of the EBiSC infrastructure to enable long-term operations, as well as developing innovative new products and services.

EBiSC as an independent, sustainable repository (2023 onwards)

Following the completion of these two project phases between 2014 and 2023, EBiSC has now entered its next stage as a sustainable scientific repository with long-term banking and distribution operations assumed jointly by Fraunhofer UK and Fraunhofer Institute for Biomedical Engineering (IBMT).

Automated cell culture, pipette robot © Fraunhofer IBMT, Photo: Bernd Müller