2008 Steering Committee Meeting

最後更新日期: 2012年3月1日 Thu 10:19

2008 Steering Committee Meeting


Shin-Ichi Nishikawa (Japan, chair of the steering committee)
Graham Jenkin (Australia, participated by teleconference) 
Duanqing Pei (China, Miguel Esteban was representing for Duanqing Pei) 
Jyotsna Dhawan (India)
Dong-Wook Kim (Korea)
Has-Soo Kim (Korea) 
Alan Colman (Singapore, Jeremy Crook was representing for Alan Colman) 
John Yu (Taiwan)
Surapol Issaragrisil (Thailand, Sorapop Kiatpongsan was representing Surapol Issaragrisil) 

Rebecca Skinner (Australia, administrative) 
Doug Sipp (Japan, administrative) 
Glyn Stacey, Qi Zhou and Fanyi Zeng participated as observers. 

Meeting Summary

The meeting opened with brief presentations on recent developments and issue from each delegation. Discussion then moved to the items on the agenda distributed in advance of the meeting. Due to time constraints, the issue of clinical applications and regulations was shelved for a subsequent meeting. 

National reports

Australia (Graham Jenkin / Rebecca Skinner) 

Australasian Society for Stem Cell Research (ASSCR) 
The Steering Committee of ASSCR requested that SNAP discuss the format by which societies such as ASSCR can be endorsed under the auspices of SNAP and how they might more closely interact with SNAP to promote their goals to expand their activities into the broader Asia Pacific Region. The ASSCR further requests that SNAP endorse their Inaugural Scientific Meeting as a SNAP supported activity.

Centre for Excellence in Stem Cell Sciences 
The members of the Centre for Excellence wish to interact with SNAP to promote stem cell research in the region. Since the Centre for Excellence will likely be involved in development of clinical stem cell therapies, it wishes to engage with SNAP in discussions on regulation of such therapies in the Asia Pacific Region. 

International Stem Cell Forum, International Stem Cell Banking Initiative and the Third International Human ES Cell Workshop
Dr. Anna Michalska, the NH&MRC Representative attended these workshops. A full report is pending and should be added to SNAP website when it is released. Additional information should be available from the clinical grade stem cell banking meeting held in Beijing immediately following the SNAP committee meeting. 

Kuala Lumpur Meeting – Stem Cells and Immunity – 1-3 October 2009
It was requested that SNAP endorse this conference as one of its associated meetings. 

California Institute for Regenerative Medicine (CIRM)
It was recommended that SNAP initiate a dialogue with CIRM to discuss how best a closer relationship and development of activities of joint interest might be achieved. (See subsequent discussion, below.) 

Stem Cell Courses – Australia Stem Cell Centre
Link Courses and Stem Cell Bank – Taiwan will open in a few months when they get funding.

ASCC – Commercialization Stem Cell Workshop
The application for national funding for this was not successful, so there are plans to approach the Victoria State Government. (See subsequent discussion, below). 

China (Miguel Esteban) 
China now has approximately 15 labs working on induced pluripotent stem cells and a national funding scheme of approximately 100 million yuan for three projects, supplemented by local funds in Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou.
A stem cell conference will be held in Guangzhou in November in conjunction with American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology and It was requested that SNAP endorse this conference as one of its associated meetings. 

India (Jyotsna Dhawan) 
A new stem cell research institute will be established in Bangalore over the next few years. The Department of Biotechnology continues to fund stem cell research proactively, including clinical applications at a number of sites. 

Japan (Shin-Ichi Nishikawa) 
Significant new funding is now available for iPS research, including the establishment of a new institute under Shinya Yamanaka at Kyoto University. Total iPS funding is approximately 20 million USD (2 billion yen). The Japan Science and Technology Agency (JST) has indicated it will look to support closer interactions in iPS research in the Asia-Pacific region. 
Among the major projects funded under the iPS initiative are programs to generate a primate clone using iPS, protein engineering to find new means of inducing pluripotency, and an analysis of the mechanisms involved in transforming a differentiated cell to a pluripotent one. 
It was also requested to have each SNAP country produce a statement on the importance of tying stem cell funding to other major projects (such as genomics, proteomics, neuroscience) in the life sciences. 

Korea (Dong-Wook Kim) 
Korea now has labs working on iPS, looking at both genetic and small molecule induction. The national Stem Cell Center is now entering its third phase and reviewing project applications. The Center has 41 hESC lines already, and is now characterizing a new “clinical grade” line
The national laws on biosafety and ethics are being revised. SCNT will be allowed within limits using human eggs that are left over after IVF, and must be approved by Ministry of Health, Welfare and Family affairs. 
There are plans for 4 international meetings on stem cell research in 2008. And also there was an offer to host the 2009 SNAP committee meeting in Korea. 

Singapore (Jeremy Crook) 
The Bioethics Advisory Committee issued (Jan 2008) a consultation document on Human-Animal Combinations for Research. This extends an earlier report on the ethical, legal and social issues in human cloning and stem cell research, reproductive and therapeutic cloning, The document introduces the matter of human-animal combinations (animal chimeras and cytoplasmic hybrids) and invites public input towards formulating recommendations to the Singapore Steering Committee on Life Sciences.
The Singapore Stem Cell Consortium (SSCC) hosted a UK/Singapore Stem Cell Meeting in March 2008. The SSCC launched its own website (http://www.sscc.a-star.edu.sg/), with links to Singapore Stem Cell Bank (SSCB). The SSCB has prepared for distribution GLP-grade hESC banks from the GMP-/clinical-grade banks manufactured by ESI (refer to Crook et al. Cell Stem Cell, 2007). However, the release of the lines is pending ESI’s revision of it’s commercial objectives. In keeping with the original plan, the SSCB aims to distribute 4 lines at cost and free of IP. The bank runs workshops – a basic and an advanced workshop, with the latter including assayology. Links to protocols can be found on the bank website. 
Singapore is planning to establish a GMP facility. Discussions with a potential partner are currently underway. Among other things, the facility will assist academic researchers to prepare for pre-clinical/clinical trials. The SSCC will likely set up a GLP facility (to be run in conjunction with the SSCB) – will make cells and media for the consortium. 
Research effort – Colin Stewart from SCI and Davor Solter from Max Planck Institute have now set up labs in Singapore. 

Taiwan (John Yu) 
The Taiwan Society for Stem Celll Research remains active and will hold a symposium on stem cells, epigenetics and development in this coming September. New initiative projects in Taiwan will focus on primate ES cells, stem cell banking, and revised research funding programs and regulations.
More information, please visit http://www.tsscr.org.tw

Thailand (Sorapop Kiatpongsan) 
There are no human ES cell banks in Thailand, so most banking focuses on cord blood. A Thai Stem cell Network was established in late 2007. The main objectives for the network are to increase collaboration within the country through scientific and academic activities and to provide update information for public education on stem cell therapy. Public and patient education activities remain a priority, in the face of extensive unregulated claims and “stem cell tourism.” The Thai Medical Council and FDA are now working on a regulatory and oversight system for stem cell therapy in Thailand, but no laws or guidelines are in place yet. The FDA has called several meetings to discuss stem cell therapy and will form a national committee for ethical approval of stem cell trials. The Medical Practice Department is now preparing to launch regulations for stem cell banking, focusing on cord blood stem cells. 

SNAP website
The design of the SNAP website has been completed, and it now needs to be filled with content. Each member has been asked to identify an enthusiastic young person capable of providing information on the national situation in terms of research institutions, funding agencies and programs, regulations and laws, and news, meetings and other activities. Doug and Rebecca have both volunteered to proofread for non-native English speakers. 

Stem Cell Banking
Glkyn Stacey provided an overview of the UK Stem cell Bank history, organization and activities, and the work of the ISCF to develop recommendations for human ES cell banking. The SNAP delegations were surveyed and a table of hESC banks in the region was created (all countries other than Australia, India and Thailand now have at least one hESC bank, or one under construction; Australia and India may develop registries). It was agreed that it would be useful to list banks on the SNAP website. 

Regional Meetings
It emerged that there will be multiple international stem cell meetings in the Asia-pacific region in 2008. (see attached spreadsheet). These should be listed on the SNAP website at the time of launch and the calendar should be kept up to date, to allow meeting planners to avoid conflicts and redundancies. 

Training Courses
Similarly, there will be multiple courses providing training for hESC culture, etc. in the region in 2008. SNAP could contribute to these both by assisting in identifying teachers, and in helping to consolidate the regional training program calendar. 

Survey of Stem Cell Societies
Most of the SNAP member nations have either a national society, consortium or network, although Japan’s does not presently meet in English, and China’s remains at the proposal stage. The SNAP website should seek to link to all websites, and work to develop a directory of stem cell students and researchers in the region. 

International Consortium of Stem Cell Networks (ICSCN)
The ICSCN is an organization that links stem cell networks from around the world. Rebecca Skinner (ASCC) is one of the principal administrators. It was agreed that SNAP would apply for ICSCN membership once the website is up. 

At present, the sole funding source for SNAP is the 10,000 AUD provided by the Australia Stem Cell Centre, which has now been used to develop the first version of the website and the SNAP logo (the logo was also developed through ASCC support). It is now crucial to identify additional sources of funding. In Japan, JST may be willing to fund international networking in stem cell research, while the JSP has indicated it might be willing to fund a program on stem cell commercialization and intellectual property issues in the region. It appeared that it will be difficult to secure governmental support from many of the national governments in the region without further strategic thinking; one possibility may be to establish SNAP “offices” in different countries, providing a geographical site that a given government can use to justify its funding. It was also suggested that a letter from Shin Nishikawa outlining SNAP’s mission and activities would be useful; Doug Sipp will draft this. Additional discussion looked to the possibility of approaching NPO or philanthropic organizations such as the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine or the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation for support. Shin Nishikawa has agreed to speak with Bob Goldstein about this, while Graham Jenkin suggested Alan Trounson/Bob Kelin might also be open to a well-structured proposal. 

The question of the geographical definition of the Asia-pacific region arose, and it was agreed to limit the eastern boundary to “this” side of the Pacific Ocean (meaning the limits would be defined approximately by Japan, Taiwan, and New Zealand). SNAP would however be happy to approach organizations from outside the region for support or partnership. It was agreed that the Middle East should be considered eligible for membership, meaning that Iran and Israel might also be approached. It was also agreed that Vietnam will be invite to join the network immediately. 

Clinical applications and regulations 
This discussion was postponed due to lack of time. It was suggested that the SNAP steering committee use Skype to make conference calls.