For Academic Biobanks

Experience the benefits of partnering with industry

Provider Focus

Biosample Hub is designed to help academic biobanks partner with biotech and pharma companies

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Slide Presentation

A slide presentation describing the important features of Biosample Hub from the academic biobank (provider) perspective can be downloaded here:

A new route to industry

Working with industry has many benefits for biosample providers like academic biobanks. These include financial benefits, scientific benefits and reduced wastage where samples are surplus to institutional requirements. Biosample Hub represents a new route by which biosample providers can reach industry.

The diagram shows three possible models by which biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies can access biosamples in academic biobanks. This illustrates one major advantage of Biosample Hub: the requester and the provider can make a direct connection and furthermore, this connection can be made in either direction, by either party.

Benefits of Biosample Hub

Biosample Hub contains multiple components that help providers (biobanks) and requesters (companies) to find a good match. The many benefits of Biosample Hub from the biobank perspective are described below.

Directory design

This biobank directory is designed to be user-friendly and to promote efficient data entry and searching. For example, the dropdown lists of disease names are based on a simplified version of ICD-10 with use of terminology that is popular in industry. These drop-down lists reduce the number of choices for the user, prevent the use of multiple names for the same disease, prevent spelling mistakes and make data entry faster.

Biosample Hub is not limited to human samples, but will also include animal, plant, microbe and environmental samples.

Providers have full control over their directory entry and can update details in real time, whenever they want to do so.

Providers can include their certification credentials eg. ISO 20387.

Requester directory

A novel component of Biosample Hub is the requester directory, which allows biobanks to find companies that may be interested in collaborating or partnering in other ways.

Another reason that providers will want to examine the requester directory is to see the kind of biospecimens that industry wants to obtain. This will allow providers to adjust their offerings and their collection strategies to match.

Requests noticeboard

Another component is the request noticeboard, where requesters can post specific requests with full details like inclusion and exclusion criteria. Providers will be able to examine the noticeboard and look out for requests they want to answer.

Discussion forum

Yet another component is the discussion forum which is currently shared by biobanks and companies. In future, if there is sufficient demand, we will have separate discussion fora for biobanks and companies.

Resources page

The resources page includes a listing of useful publications and other information sources. With time it will also include a number of tools to facilitate the contractual process.

Empowerment

Empowerment of the sample provider is one of the main advantages of Biosample Hub. The platform allows providers to connect directly with industry researchers. Not just to wait until contacted, but also to take the first step and initiate contact. In the providers’ discussion forum, advice can be exchanged and alliances can be formed. Providers can also connect with other like-minded providers and if they wish form consortia to strengthen their offerings to industry. In addition, the ability to endorse and gain endorsements can help build reputations for both providers and requesters.

Collaboration opportunities

Biosample Hub allows providers to be in direct contact with industry requesters and to develop a wide variety of possible partnerships which can bring many benefits. Financial benefits may include cost recovery, funding of staff and funding of collaborative research all of which are important for biobank sustainability. Scientific benefits may include access to special expertise and expensive equipment. Then of course there are the ethical benefits of traceability, mentioned in the next section.

Traceability

Traceability is another major advantage of Biosample Hub. The fact that providers and requesters are in direct contact from the outset means that the traceability of biosamples is optimised. In particular, providers can have extra confidence about knowing exactly who will use the samples and for what purpose. This is an important ethical consideration for the custodians of human tissue samples who have responsibilities to the patient donors.

Financial transparency

Biosample Hub is a not-for-profit company without shareholders. Any financial surplus is reinvested in the company. Only requesters pay fees and these are detailed on the Join page.

Free of charge

Biosample Hub is free of charge for non-commercial biospecimen providers. 

No contract

No contract needs to be signed in order to use the Biosample Hub platform. As there is no contract, there are no contractual restrictions!

Protected environment

The Biosample Hub platform is password protected and all users have been checked to ensure that they represent bona fide organisations that are accurately represented on the platform.

Global reach

Biosample Hub is open to providers and requesters from all over the world.

Additional support

Extra help is available on a consultancy basis through Biosample Management Ltd. This is work charged by the hour. It may include business plan development and negotiation with potential partners in industry. For more information please visit this website: