A NORTH-EAST university has announced a consortium with industry to provide stem cells for drug discovery research.

The project called StemBANCC is one of the Innovative Medicines Initiative's biggest projects with a total budget of £55.6m.

It aims to generate 1,500 human pluripotent stem (iPS) cell lines that researchers could use to study diseases and test drugs for safety and efficacy.

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It involves ten pharmaceutical companies and 25 academic institutions and will be coordinated by healthcare company Roche.

Scientists within the Institute of Genetic Medicine at Newcastle University will be generating the iPS cell lines which researchers involved in the effort will use as tools for drug discovery with the goal of developing human disease models and enhancing drug development.