NEW YORK (GBI Research), 12 July 2012 - The increase in the number of biobanks around the world has played an important role in fostering drug discovery, but tissue sample availability and limited inter-facility co-operation is threatening to hamper further progress, warns a new report by healthcare industry experts GBI Research.
According to the report*, biobanks have multiplied significantly since the 1970’s, and have become integral to research facilities around the globe. The period 1990-1999 saw the most significant percentage increase, at 42%. Growth in 2000 to 2009 was almost as impressive, with a 36% increase in biobanks.
These bio-repositories have become increasingly important with the expanding popularity of contemporary research into personalized medications and genomics, but a lack of particular storage types and specific tissue samples are major issues affecting the effectiveness of biobanks worldwide.
Tumor Tissue Repositories (TTR), for example, are a source of brain tumor samples that are experiencing difficulties in terms of supply. Normal brain samples to be used as control subjects are lacking, making comparative study ever more difficult.
However, there is an ongoing push toward harmonization – the large-scale sharing of data and statistical analyses that is allowing bio-repositories to benefit from the resources of others.
According to GBI Research, fruitful analyses will depend on the ability to harmonize and standardize the collection, storage, and management of data and bio-samples across biobanking studies.
Yet, while many international biobanks, such as P3G (Public Population Program in Genomics), BBMRI (Biobanking and BioMolecular Resources Research Infrastructure) and UKDBN (United Kingdom DNA Banking Network), are already involved in harmonization programs, several biobanks are still to join.
GBI Research states that, out of over 100 biobanks, the majority of facilities are stand-alone and receive all of their funding from the government. These made up 68% of the global total for 2010, while the remaining 32% were partnered with other biobanks or institutions.
* Biobanks - 2012 Year Book
This report provides key data, information and analysis of 37 of the world’s major biobanks. It also provides information on population-based biobanks, disease based biobanks, brain biobanks, stem cell biobanking, twin registries, children biobanks and many national biobanks.
This report was built using data and information sourced from proprietary databases, primary and secondary research, and in-house analysis conducted by GBI Research’s team of industry experts.
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