The Future of Biobanks: Regulation, ethics, investment and the humanization of drug discovery
Biobanks collect and
store human biospecimens, playing a vital role in the
development of novel drugs and diagnostics. In recent years,
large population-based biobanks have been established which
monitor the health status of participants over time to assess
the natural occurrence and progression of common diseases.
Hundreds of disease-based biobanks are located around the world,
which are a valuable resource for biomarker discovery as well as
for studying progression, mortality and responses to treatment.
‘The Future of Biobanks’ is a report published by Business
Insights that examines major trends in the biobanking industry
and identifies the key initiatives to upgrade the biobanking
infrastructure. This report explores the applications of
biobanks and provides examples of how large sets of high-quality
biosamples are creating new ways to diagnose, prevent and treat
diseases. The activities of over 180 US biobanks are assessed to
illustrate how the scale and scope of biobanking is changing.
This report also evaluates the limitations of biobanks, in
addition to reviewing the unique legal, regulatory and ethical
issues that surround this new frontier of biomolecular research.
A number of new,
high-quality biobanks will accelerate the development of
personalized diagnostics and therapeutics over the next
between biobanks can advance this progression, although many
scientific and political barriers must be overcome.
An estimated $1bn has been
invested in the biobanking industry within the last ten
years. The first advances are expected to result in the
improved treatment of cancer, and progression for a range of
other common diseases will follow.
biobanks have reached unprecedented levels of scale,
particularly the Taizhou project in China. Studies conducted
on the entire population of a country may soon be possible.
At least 179 biobanks with
345,000 donors exist in the US, most of which were
established in the last 10 years.
As biotechnology companies’
biobanking assets mature in terms of the number of samples
collected their R&D productivity and the number of products
available for outsourcing will increase
Use this report to...
Assess the strengths and
limitations of biobanks and understand their scientific and
commercial relevance with this report’s analysis of biobank-enabled
targeted therapeutics and diagnostic/prognostic tests.
Analyze growth in
disease-based biobanks by using this report’s unique review
of 180 US-based biobanks by disease type and gain insights
into the collaborative networks that can leverage greater
founder/national population biobanks and gain insights into
private sector biobanking with this report’s examination of
contract service providers, biomarker discovery companies,
pharma collections and research collaborations.
Review developments in the
regulatory framework for biobanking and understand ethical
issues including informed consent, withdrawal and ownership,
confidentiality and commercialization.
Biobanking expansion. The
falling cost of genomic technologies is expanding the scale
and scope of biobanking research. This has already resulted
in the development of several new diagnostic tests that can
improve risk assessment and treatment decisions.
Potential for personalised
medicine. Very few personalized medicines exist, but the
creation of large sets of high-quality biosamples should
widen the clinical application of new personalized products
Legal and ethical issues.
Although the legal and ethical frameworks that govern
biobanking are still evolving, many major issues such as
ownership and commercialization are now largely addressed
during the consent process.
Cost of national biobanks.
National biobanks have been established in several
countries, although their value has been questioned.
Conducting large-scale population studies requires
significant investment, due to the extremely large
collections of biosamples and data involved (including
relevant medical history, lifestyle and environmental
Why are biobanks a critical
Which types of biobank are
What are the most common
disadvantages of biobanks?
Which major drug developers
have invested in biobanks?
What are the major
uncertainties surrounding the future of biobanks?
What growing trend could
When will the benefits of
biobanking be realized?
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