The Niche

88 stem cell lines submitted to NIH for ethical vetting; Harvard dominates

As of 28 Sept in California, 88 human embryonic stem cell lines on a list the NIH is keeping to which institutions plan to submit which lines for an assessment of their eligibility for federal funding.

On July 7, the NIH specified strict informed consent and other criteria under which embryonic stem cell lines must be derived to be eligible for U.S. federal funding. Rather than having to meet the exact criteria of new informed consent requirements, lines derived prior to July 7 must be evaluated individually to ensure that they confirm to the principles behind the guidelines.

All but three lines are from Harvard University and its affiliated Children’s Hospital Boston; two are from Rockefeller University in New York, and one is from Children’s Memorial Hospital in Chicago. Notably absent are lines from the California universities and the University of Wisconsin. Also absent are lines derived outside the United States. However, Glyn Stacey, head of the UK Stem Cell Bank says that he believes that the guidelines on informed consent established among various groups in the UK complies with that set forward by the NIH. That was published last year in Regenerative Medicine (subscription required).

The list indicates an intent to submit rather than a formal submission, which will require substantial documentation.

See Stem cell vetting raises concerns, confusion

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