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


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.


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


Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council

Department of Health


Imperial College

Medical Research Council


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

The Consortia-pedia Catalogue is a living resource, and we are always adding new consortia. Provide information here about your collaboration to apply to be included in the Catalogue.

All the information contained in the Consortia-pedia was collected from publically available sources. Decisions to include or exclude a particular listing from Consortia-pedia were also made on the basis of publically available information and the criteria outlined in the FAQs. This site is intended to be an objective resource for the community, and inclusion does not constitute or imply endorsement, recommendation, or approval by FasterCures or the Milken Institute.