National Institute for Biological Standards and Control

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National Institute for Biological Standards and Control
Abbreviation NIBSC
Formation 1972
Legal status Government agency
Purpose Biological standards, medicines control and research
Location
Region served UK
Membership 300 staff (200 scientists)
Director Dr Stephen Inglis
Parent organization Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency
Affiliations BBSRC, MRC, WHO, NHS, Dstl
Budget £21.3m (partly self-funded)
Website NIBSC

The National Institute for Biological Standards and Control (NIBSC) is a global leader in the field of biological standardisation. It is a centre of the UK Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA). It is responsible for developing and producing over 90% of the biological international standards in use around the world.[citation needed] The Institute is the UK's Official Medicines Control Laboratory (OMCL), responsible for independent regulatory testing of biological medicines within the framework of the European Union.[1] It is also host to the UK Stem Cell Bank and a key UK research centre in the field of pandemic flu. It is situated just west of junction 23 of the M25. Half of the building is in Ridge and the eastern half is in the parish of South Mimms.

History[edit]

The NIBSC began work in May 1972. The National Biological Standards Board was formed in 1975 at the NIMR in Mill Hill. A site was selected and the new £25m building opened in 1987, although it was officially opened in 1988. It has 4,500 square metres of laboratories. NIBSC employs around 300 staff, 200 of whom are scientists.

In February 2008, it featured in a thirty minute programme on BBC Radio 4 in the Secret Science two-part series (the other programme was about the Health Protection Agency's Centre for Emergency Preparedness and Response at Porton Down).

In April 2009, NIBSC became centre of the UK Health Protection Agency (HPA). In April 2013, the NIBSC left the HPA and was merged with the UK’s Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA).

Function[edit]

It produces over 90% of the WHO's International Standards for substances such as antibiotics, enzymes, antibodies and hormones, and methods such as blood transfusions. These standards form a vital part of global health efforts and pharmaceutical research, and over 10,000 standards a month are shipped worldwide. It is the UK's Official Medicines Control Laboratory.

Facilities[edit]

New buildings for the UK Stem Cell Bank (which has been on the site since May 19, 2004 and was Europe's first stem cell bank) and Influenza Resource Centre were built on the site in a £12m development by Morgan Ashurst and opened in December 2009.

See also[edit]

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