Stem Cell Alliance

A Wisconsin research foundation subsidiary has reached an agreement with a California company to distribute new embryonic stem cell lines that may be created without destroying human embryos.

WiCell Research Institute and Advanced Cell Technology of Alameda, California would distribute the lines if the federal government provides research funding for them. Federal funding is currently limited to embryonic stem cell lines created before August 2001.

The agreement involves cell lines produced from a technique developed by Advanced Cell recently published in the journal Nature. It isn't clear whether the technique will meet federal requirements for protecting embryos.

WiCell is a subsidiary of the Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation. It does stem cell research and education. It's also home to the National Stem Cell Bank.

More than 350 academic research centers are working with cells from WiCell.

WiCell has agreements to distribute 13 of the 21 embryonic stem cell lines currently available on the National Institutes of Health registry.