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NIH and ES Cell International Pte. Ltd sign International Stem Cell Research Agreement

Bethesda, Maryland The National Institutes of Health and the ES Cell International Pte. Ltd. of Melbourne, Australia, announced today the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) for research use of ES Cell Internationals six existing stem cell lines that meet the criteria articulated by President Bush in his August 9, 2001 address. This is the federal governments first international agreement involving the distribution of human stem cell lines.

Scientists at the NIH and elsewhere will be able to access these cell lines to explore new areas of research in this emerging field of technology. In compliance with the NIH guidelines for the transfer of research materials, this agreement permits NIH scientists to freely publish the results of their research. The NIH will retain its ownership to any new intellectual property that might arise from the conduct of research in this area. In addition, the MOU governs the transfer of cell lines to individual laboratories with minimal administrative burden.

ES Cell International will retain commercial rights to its materials and will receive a fee to cover its handling and distribution expenses in supplying these cell lines. Furthermore, ES Cell International has agreed to make stem cell lines available for use by non-profit institutions that receive grants from the NIH under the same terms and conditions as those available to NIH scientists, provided these institutions enter into a separate written agreement with ES Cell International.

We are very pleased with this agreement for our scientists who are interested in pursuing research on human embryonic stem cells. It will allow science to move forward freely in an important and promising field. The cell lines being offered are genetically diverse and as such will expand opportunities for researchers to explore important differences among cell lines, said Ruth Kirschstein, M.D., Acting NIH Director.

This agreement is of major importanc
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Contact: NIH Communications
301-496-6641
NIH/National Institutes of Health
11-Apr-2002


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