Quality of biospecimen collections is crucial
Biobanks, also known as biospecimen resources, biorepositories, tissue banks, biolibraries or biological resource centers, collect and store human biological specimens such as blood or tissue from diseased and healthy subjects. These specimens can be a precious resource to support advancement of translational research.
Assuming sample collections are of good quality and that the scientific, legal and regulatory challenges have been overcome, sample-based research should ultimately lead to the discovery and validation of new biomarkers for predictive, prognostic, surrogate and efficacy diagnostic tests. In addition, harnessing historical collections from retrospective studies may offer the benefit of expediting such valuable research and reduce costly delays and limit the need to execute lengthy, expensive validation studies, therefore dramatically accelerating clinical validation of future diagnostic products.
Types of biospecimen collections include:
- Retrospective samples in cancer, CNS, infectious diseases, metabolic diseases, cardiovascular diseases or other specific diseases.
- Cohort and prospective longitudinal studies in which healthy subjects have been followed for years. These collections are ideal for validating predictive biomarkers and biomarkers for early disease detection.
- Clinical trials: These collections have been obtained using high-quality standards for sampling and storage conditions, as well as for the collection of relevant medical information (available CRF). Moreover they can be well suited for demonstrating the relevance of a given theranostic or companion biomarker.
- Trans-Hit's Partner Network offers a global coverage which may be considered an asset to phenotypic diversity, thus offering the possibility of creating population and thematic collections.
Hundreds of biobanks exist around the world and others are created regularly. They vary in size, nature of specimen type, purpose, ethnicity, age, as well as standards of operation and extent of patient consent forms. Above all, they dramatically vary in the quality of their archived samples (storage conditions, time between sample collection and storage, storage length, associated clinical annotations, appropriate informed consent, etc.). This is why several academic and professional institutions have created organizations whose goals are to establish best practice guidelines for biospecimen collection and storage in order to improve the quality through standardization and harmonization of biorepository practice. Trans-Hit Biomarkers supports these excellent and remarkable initiatives and it believes they should be followed by all biobanks,existing and future. While Trans-Hit Biomarkers’ mission is to accelerate the validation of newly discovered biomarkers, we are trying to help both biobanks and scientists find common valuable opportunities.
However, as poor-quality samples can only serve to jeopardize research results, it is of the utmost importance to critically select high-quality collections before starting a project. This is Trans-Hit Biomarkers' paramount impetus: carefully selecting potential partner biobanks and biospecimen collections to fully respond to the needs of researchers, and regulatory authorities.
- Best and evidence-based practice in both operations and research, focused on optimizing sample integrity and promoting biopreservation efforts throughout the biospecimen lifecycle
- Well-annotated high quality clinical data sets
- Well-established ethics framework (informed consent, ethical committees, etc.)
- Scientific expertise.
- Extended variety of specimens for a single subject (plasma, serum, urine, tumor, DNA, RNA, etc.)
In an effort to assist the community and to facilitate connectivity between biobanks and biomarker developers, Trans-Hit Biomarkers has established a unique biospecimen web based searching tool B4B-Hub which was during the . Scientists and biobanks can list or view biospecimen collection requests free of charge.
List of Requests for Biospecimen Collection
As this tool is offered globally, companies and academic research centers have the opportunity for real time global connectivity to hundreds of biobanks. Trans-Hit Biomarkers has built a database of more than 1.500 biobanks, including commercial biobanks. This connectivity dramatically accelerates and improves the odds for finding the ideal matching collection and scientific expertise, decreasing impediments such as existing lag times for research. Our B4B-Hub offers a convenient, expeditious, free and confidential mechanism to list on-line requests for biospecimen collections.
View Requests for Biospecimen Collections
Through the B4B-Hub, biobanks can be connected with worldwide research teams, and be regularly notified about research collaboration opportunities and biospecimen requests aimed at increasing utilization of their expertise and biobank collections for biomarker validation.