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UMass, U.K. Stem Cell Banks Announce Agreement

Gov. Deval Patrick has signed an agreement for the University of Massachusetts Human Stem Cell Bank and Registry to cooperate with the United Kingdom Stem Cell Bank.

The agreement announced Tuesday while the governor was on a trade mission to Britain calls on the two banks to identify shared priorities and foster collaboration and cooperation.

Potential areas of collaboration include the coordination of cell line characterization, production and distribution; identification of issues surrounding co-distribution of cell lines for research; and exploration of funding opportunities for joint research projects.

Patrick said the agreement opens the way for groundbreaking research and developing life-saving cures.

The head of the UMass bank, Joseph Laning, says the U.K. bank has been around a few years longer than UMass', and has some valuable experience to share.

"An institution that has, you know, seen some of the challenges and has met them I think is going to help us when we start to encounter some of those things," Laning said.

The UMass bank was established in 2008 and occupies 15,000-square-feet of research and training space at the University of Massachusetts Medical School's Shrewsbury campus.

With reporting from The Associated Press and the WBUR Newsroom.

This program aired on March 15, 2011. The audio for this program is not available.

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