New €55.6m European project will use stem cells to increase understanding of diseases

BMJ 2012; 345 doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmj.e8325 (Published 7 December 2012)
Cite this as: BMJ 2012;345:e8325

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  1. Nigel Hawkes
  1. 1London

A five year collaborative project costing €55.6m (£45m; $72.7m) has been launched to use stem cells to increase understanding of diseases and devise better ways to treat them. The project, called Stembanc, brings together academic centres across Europe with drug companies to create “the patient in a dish”—cultures of cells grown from stem cells taken from patients and used as assays for new drug treatments.

The approach will take skin and blood cells from 500 patients and use techniques that won the Japanese clinician Shinya Yamanaka a share of this year’s Nobel prize for Medicine.1 The cells will then be restored to their precursor stem cells, the so called induced pluripotent stem (IPS) cells that have the capacity …

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