Professor SB Dunnett
Cardiff Fetal Tissue Bank: Quality assured tissue for biomedical research and clinical trial in neurodegenerative disease
The CFTB and SWIFT tissue banks provide a combined infrastructure facility to supply quality assured research grade and clincial grade human fetal tissues to support basic, translational and clinical trial applications. Both Banks recruit donors consented for medical and surgical terminations of pregnancy between 6-14 week of fetal development. Tissues are allocated to one of two streams, for processing either under standard cat II human tissue safety protocols in the laboratory for research use (SWIFT), or under GMP in a dedicated clinical grade clean room with appropriate environmental control, monitoring, standardised operating procedures, training, documentation and quality assurance protocols licenced for human use (e.g. cell transplantation) in man (CFTB). The two banks are fully accredited under HTA research and human use licences, respectively. Whereas the facility was established to support our own programme in cell transplantation in Huntington’s and Parkinson’s diseases, this is a unique facility providing a rare and valuable resource, and we seek to maximise utility by operating as a fresh fetal tissue bank to supply diverse research programmes in developmental and stem cell biology, immunology and cell transplantation throughout the UK and Europe. We are currently supplying quality assured tissues to approx. 20 other centres, but there are reasonable expectations that the rapid growth in experimental regenerative medicines and cell therapies will raise a significant range of new applications which we will be positioned to supply, breaking an intrinsic bottleneck in the difficulties of sourcing new supplies of this sensitive tissue source. The SWIFT/CFTB supply is of fresh fetal tissue, in which the cells are living and exhibit high viability for in vitro growth and expension, and are already being used as a source of cells for generation of clinical-grade iPS cells derived from developing fetal brain. As such, we do not compete with the HDBR.