Scottish Stem Cell Network Ltd.

Dec 02, 2006
By BioPharm International Editors

Company Description

SSCN Ltd was created as a not-for-profit company to deliver the objectives of the Scottish Stem Cell Network which was established in 2003. The network aims to provide the interdisciplinary activities to support the translation of scientific expertise into therapeutic benefits for patients and economic strength for Scotland. The company has a $3 million funding commitment from Scottish Enterprise. SSCN constituents include:

University of Edinburgh Institute for Stem Cell Research, an MRC Centre of Excellence, specializing in the basic biology of stem cells (

University of Edinburgh Medical School, developing clinical science and application of stem cell technology (

University of Glasgow, where studies on cancer stem cells are being pioneered (

University of Dundee, housing groups studying developmental biology and embryology (

University of Aberdeen, focusing on pancreatic development to understand diabetes (

Stem Cell Sciences plc ( a company developing routes to market with stem cells in the fields of drug discovery and therapeutics.

Roslin Cells Ltd, a not-for-profit company established to produce therapeutic grade human ES cells (

CXR Biosciences ( are developing stem cell derived hepatocytes as a screening solution for drug discovery and toxicology.

Innogen ( the ESRC's Centre for Social and Economic Research on Innovation in Genomics.

Invitrogen ( a global company with a major base in Scotland developing supporting technologies for stem cell research and development


Stem Cell research and development in Scotland is supported by advanced facilities in the UK. In Edinburgh, several groups from the science and medical faculties, together with key individuals from the Roslin Institute and MRC Human Genetics group, have been brought together as the Centre for Regenerative Medicine under the Directorship of Prof Ian Wilmut, whose reputation in somatic cell nuclear transfer is renowned globally. The center is based at the new Edinburgh Royal Infirmary, a site that comprises an 800 bed state of the art hospital, world class research facilities and approved plans for biotech incubator facilities.

As part of this development, Scottish Enterprise, the Scottish Blood Transfusion Service, University of Edinburgh and the Roslin Institute have reached agreement to set up the Roslin Cells Centre, a clinical grade derivation facility for human ES cells. Roslin Cells is in receipt of HFEA licences to permit deriving cell lines from human embryos surplus to IVF requirements, and has just commissioned new laboratories with a QA and QC capability.

Through its activities, SSCN Ltd aims to facilitate the continuing development of Scotland's stem cell industry. Through the provision of cross disciplinary workshops, training programs in science and legislation, seminars, meetings and support for exchange working visits and attendance at major international events, the network enables knowledge sharing and transfer.

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