NIH News Release
Office of the Director

Friday, April 26, 2002

NIH Communications Office
(301) 496-4461

National Institutes of Health and the University of California,
San Francisco Sign Stem Cell Research Agreement

Bethesda, Maryland — The National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) announced today the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) for research use of UCSF's two existing human cell lines that meet President's Bush criteria in his August 9, 2001 address. UCSF is the first university to enter into a stem cell agreement involving the distribution of human stem cell lines.

Scientists at NIH and elsewhere will be able to access 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 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.

UCSF will retain commercial rights to its material and will receive a fee to cover its handling and distribution expenses in supplying these cell lines. Furthermore, UCSF 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 UCSF.

"We are very pleased with this arrangement for our scientists who are interested in pursuing research on human embryonic stem cells. This agreement will allow scientists to maximize their research capabilities. We welcome these collaborative efforts because they provide the framework for future progress in this important scientific area," said Ruth Kirschstein, M.D., Acting NIH Director.

"UCSF is proud to have developed stem cell lines that will enable federally funded researchers to explore the therapeutic potential of embryonic stem cells. The best chance for discovering the potential of human embryonic stem cells is to engage and fuel the public research enterprise, as well as industry," said Reg Kelly, Ph.D., UCSF executive vice chancellor.

University of California, San Francisco is one of the country's leading health sciences institutions. UCSF is dedicated to scientific research, graduate education, and patient care. Three UCSF scientists have been named Nobel laureates in the last 10 years.

The National Institutes of Health, a component of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, is the premier federal agency for biomedical research.

The MOU is available on the NIH web site at: