Access to large collections of well-characterized biological preparations and medical data is crucial for research, policy making and innovation to control the present pandemic and prevent future pandemics.
Samples from COVID-19 patients are routinely collected for testing by laboratories throughout the Netherlands. The challenge in collecting, storing and sharing these materials in compliance with ethical and privacy standards and regulations has once again become clear. Consequently, many of the samples and leftover materials are currently discarded after use. These are samples that provide unique information for research and innovation.
We need to act now
A Dutch COVID-19 Biobank is urgently needed. It has two aims:
- Safeguard existing patient samples that otherwise will be discarded.
The NL Biobank COVID-19 initiative urgently calls upon testing laboratories and healthcare providers to save these valuable samples and make them available for future research and innovation.
- Mid-long term: set-up a national biobank organized in accordance with national guidelines.
Many parties involved expressed the need to build a national shared infrastructure, an independent organization in which uniform procedures for collection and issuing of samples are jointly established and coordinated. It will support laboratories in safeguarding the collection and storage of biological samples and medical data and support researchers and innovators to gain access in compliance with national guidelines.
Initiators: Frans A.L van der Horst - Reinier de Graaf Gasthuis Delft, NVKC; Esther de Vries - Jeroen Bosch Ziekenhuis, Tilburg University; Jantine Dirksen - Quaero Systems; Imo Höfer en Marion Wenting - UMC Utrecht; Johan de Rooij en Bram de Moor - StiBion
Health-RI provides managerial support to the initiators of the NL Biobank COVID-19. Setting up an inclusive coalition, providing access to the network of experts to support the initiative and to make this a success.
To learn more about the Dutch COVID-19 Biobank and how to collaborate, please contact us through email@example.com.