Stem Cells for Safer Medicines


At a Glance
  • Status: Completed Consortium
  • Year Launched: 2008
  • Initiating Organization: Stem Cells for Safer Medicines
  • Initiator Type: Government
  • No disease focus
  • Location: Europe

Abstract

Stem Cells for Safer Medicines is a public/private partnership that operates as a precompetitive consortium of industrial and academic partners. The project’s objective is to develop and validate novel in vitro safety screens using pluripotent stem cell lines for early predictive screening, which can be scaled up, automated, and integrated into current screening technology platforms used in the pharmaceutical industry for the discovery and development of potential new medicines.

Mission

Stem Cells for Safer Medicines is focused on the development of screens for detecting liver toxicity, which represents a major cause of attrition during drug development. Effort is currently ongoing to improve the efficiency of the differentiation of pluripotent stem cells to produce hepatocyte-like cells, which have the characteristics to replicate the functional activity of adult human hepatocytes and demonstrate the relevant response to drugs in order to provide a reliable and predictive indication of potential toxicity in human patients.

Consortium History

October 2007: Project began
September 2014: Project ended

Structure & Governance

Stem Cells for Safer Medicines is structured as a not-for profit company, limited and incorporated in the U.K. It operates with an Executive Board composed of an independent chair, CEO, government representatives, industrial members, and the chair of the Scientific Advisory Board. The Executive Board oversees legal and company issues, including management of intellectual property (IP) policy.

The Scientific Advisory Board includes scientific expertise from academia and industry (interdisciplinary) and representation from government funding agencies. Its responsibilities are as follows:

Intellectual Property

Background IP remains the property of the originator. Each party grants to the other a royalty-free non-exclusive license to use the background IP for the purpose of the project.

Stem Cells for Safer Medicines will own the IP in the project foreground. It will grant a nonexclusive, royalty-free license to the academic partner to use the IP for the purposes of the project. It will grant a nonexclusive, royalty-free license to industrial partners (freedom to operate) but not for commercial purposes. It will grant nonexclusive licenses to third parties on a case-by-case basis with fees used for further research.

Sponsors & Partners

AstraZeneca

Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council

Department of Health

GlaxoSmithKline

Imperial College

Medical Research Council

Roche

Scottish Enterprise

Technology Strategy Board

UCB Pharma

University of Bath

University of Edinburgh

University of Glasgow

University of Liverpool

University of Manchester

University of Nottingham


Last Updated: 04/08/2016

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