European Bank for induced pluripotent STEM Cells (EBiSC)

At a Glance
  • Status: Active Consortium
  • Year Launched: 2014
  • Initiating Organization: Innovative Medicines Initiative
  • Initiator Type: Government
  • No disease focus


EBiSC Logo CMYKThe European Bank for induced pluripotent STEM Cells (EBiSC) is designed to address the increasing demand by induced pluripotent stem cell (iPSC) researchers for quality-controlled, disease-relevant, research-grade iPSC lines, data, and cell services. The 3-years project aims to establish a central storage and distribution facility for human iPSC distributing iPSC lines worldwide on a not-for-profit basis.


EBiSC’s goal is to demonstrate an operational banking and distribution service of iPSC lines after three years and then to establish for Europe a centralized, not-for-profit bank providing all qualified users with access to scalable, cost-efficient, and customized products.

Consortium History

The EBiSC project was launched on 1 January 2014.

Structure & Governance

Led by Pfizer Ltd. and managed by Roslin Cells, EBiSC consists of eight active participant iPSC centers 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 is located at the Babraham Research Campus (Cambridge, UK) and undertakes cell expansion, quality control, and characterization. The European Cell Culture Collection (ECACC) of Public Health England (Department of Health, UK) coordinates cell line distribution. The Fraunhofer IBMT (Saarbrücken, Germany) provides comprehensive operational backup.


The EBiSC project has received support from the Innovative Medicines Initiative (IMI) Joint Undertaking (JU) under grant agreement no. 115582, resources of which are composed of financial contribution from the European Union’s Seventh Framework Programme (FP7/2001-2013) and European Federation of Pharmaceutical Industries and Associations (EFPIA) companies’ in kind contribution. The IMI contribution is €21.8 million, the EFPIA contribution is €8.3 million, and others’ contribution is €5.1 million, for a total cost of €35.2 million. 

Intellectual Property

Robust documentation for donor consent, material deposition and end user agreements for academic and commercial use has been established in line with the IMI’s requirements to ensure a responsible and responsive governance framework optimising the utility and longevity of the Bank.

Patient Engagement

Based on identified research needs for new disease iPSC lines to be specifically commissioned, EBiSC seeks collaboration with new patient associations and clinical networks.

Data Sharing

EBiSC will spearhead Europe in the international standardization of iPSC banking by forging collaborative links with iPSC generating projects and initiatives in Europe and similar endeavors in the United States and Asia. Academic and commercial users of the bank will be able to submit, search and retrieve a rich collection of data on each iPSC line banked via the EBiSC Information Management System. Training will be provided to encourage adoption and use of the bank.


iPSCs can be used to study disease biology, identify markers of disease and potential drug targets, and test drug safety and efficacy. In addition, iPSCs help to reduce the use of animals in research. By standardizing procedures and ensuring the quality of the cell lines and associated data, EBiSC will help academic and clinical researchers shed new light on the biology of diverse diseases. For the pharmaceutical efficiency, the cell lines will be a tool for carrying out early-stage drug testing. For patients, the project represents a step in ensuring that iPSCs realize their potential as a tool to improve and accelerate the development of better and safer treatments.

Sponsors & Partners

Timothy Allsop
Pfizer Ltd.
phone: +44 1304 643483

Aidan Courtney
Roslin Cells Ltd.
phone: +44 131 658 5180


ARTTIC, France

AstraZeneca AB, Sweden

Bayer Pharma AG, Germany

Bioneer A/S, Denmark

Charité University Medicine Berlin, Germany

Culture Collections of PHE, UK

DefiniGEN Ltd, UK

Douglas Connect GmbH, Switzerland

European Molecular Biology Laboratory (European Bioinformatics Institute), Germany

Fraunhoefer-Institut für Molekularbiologie und Angewandte Oekologie IME ScreeningPort, Germany

Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft zur Förderung der angewandten Forschung e.V. (Fraunhofer-Institut für Biomedizinische Technik), Germany

Fundacion Publica Andaluza Progreso y Salud, Spain 

 Fundacion Privada Centre de Medicina Regenerativa de Barcelona, Spain

Fundacion INBIOMED, Spain

Genome Research Limited (Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute), UK

Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz Universitaet Hannover, Germany

H. Lundbeck A/S, Denmark

Instituto de Salud Carlos III. (Spanish Stem Cell Bank), Spain

Janssen Pharmaceutica NV, Belgium

Klinikum Der Universitaet Zu Koeln, Germany

Koninklijke Nederlandse Academie van Wetenschappen (The Hubrecht Institute), The Netherlands

National Institute for Biological Standards and Control, UK

Neusentis, UK

Novo Nordisk, Denmark

Roslin Cells Ltd., UK

UCB Biopharma, Belgium

Universitaetsklinikum Bonn, LIFE & BRAIN Centre, Germany

University College London, UK

University of Edinburgh, UK

University of Newcastle Upon Tyne, UK

Last Updated: 04/15/2016

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