Access to stem cell data and registration of pluripotent cell lines: The Human Pluripotent Stem Cell Registry (hPSCreg)

Stem Cell Res. 2020 Jun 27:47:101887. doi: 10.1016/j.scr.2020.101887. Online ahead of print.


The value of human pluripotent stem cells (hPSC) in regenerative medicine has yet to reach its full potential. The road from basic research tool to clinically validated PSC-derived cell therapy products is a long and winding one, leading researchers, clinicians, industry and regulators alike into undiscovered territory. All stakeholders must work together to ensure the development of safe and effective cell therapies. Similarly, utilization of hPSC in meaningful and controlled disease modeling and drug screening applications requires information on the quality and suitability of the applied cell lines. Central to these common goals is the complete documentation of hPSC data, including the ethical provenance of the source material, the hPSC line derivation, culture conditions and genetic constitution of the lines. Data surrounding hPSC is scattered amongst diverse sources, including publications, supplemental data, researcher lab books, accredited lab reports, certificates of analyses and public data repositories. Not all of these data sources are publicly accessible nor associated with metadata nor stored in a standard manner, such that data can be easily found and retrieved. The Human Pluripotent Stem Cell Registry (hPSCreg; was started in 2007 to impart provenance and transparency towards hPSC research by registering and collecting standard properties of hPSC lines. In this chapter, we present a short primer on the history of stem cell-based products, summarize the ethical and regulatory issues introduced in the course of working with hPSC-derived products and their associated data, and finally present the Human Pluripotent Stem Cell Registry as a valuable resource for all stakeholders in therapies and disease modeling based on hPSC-derived cells.