Monday, August 18, 2014

The Changing Biobanking Industry

Recent advancements in technology (and biotechnology) have changed the nature of the way we do business.  The biobanking industry has not been immune to those changes as they field continues to grow.  Lisa Miranda, President and Chief Executive Officer of Biobusiness Consulting Incorporated, sees these changes as falling into three different buckets—Operational, technical and scientific.  Check out what she had to say about the transformation in these areas:  

In your opinion, how has the industry changed in the last two-three years?

Lisa: As a general disclaimer, I should first say that in the time we have today, it would difficult to relay all the ways the industry has changed over the last two-three years. But I can offer a few impressions in the areas I mentioned above.

In the last two-three years, my general impression is that we’ve seen an increased awareness of needs around the challenges I mentioned. I believe the upward trajectory of this field’s growth is partly linked to its demonstrated success in addressing these issues more deeply.

Perhaps it may help to offer some insight into progress on those three buckets I mentioned in the first question.

Operationally, I’ve observed an increased number of biobanks investing in proactive business and strategic planning. In fact, I’ve worked with dozens of biobank clients on these kinds of projects the past seven years. It’s my impression that biobanks are realizing the value of exploring these issues.

Technically, it appears that folks are beginning to realize that quality can no longer be a general construct that they need to prioritize activities around standardization of bioprocessing and sample management to ensure they can deliver quality results.

I am seeing more dissemination of education and training in this area- e.g. workshops, discussion forums, publications, etc. On the ground, Biobankers and vendors are collaborating to utilize technology for optimization of sample management practice.  The biobanking environment is creating ideal conditions for prospective implementation of evidence based practice. We even have our first publicly available evidence based SOP- released by the US NIH/NCI BBRB in April 2014- for frozen tissue (Refer to my blog). All of this is leading to a healthy cross pollination of ideas and harmonization of schools of thought.

Scientifically, we are seeing progress in biospecimen science research-partly in the form of integration of lessons learned from analysis. Biobankers are working on advanced studies evaluating the effects of pre-analytical variation and sample processing techniques on sample quality and quantity. Furthermore, the trickle down benefits and increased knowledgebase is enabling real time application of lessons learned in biospecimen science related projects.  Some biobankers are developing tissue models while, others are working on evaluation of processes, products and technologies and models for method validation. More biobanks are making testing of protocols and conduct of biospecimen science research a priority. Quality control programs (i.e. ISBER Proficiency testing) are helping evaluate and confirm proficiency of samples.

You can download the full interview here

Hear more from Lisa at the 7th Annual Biorepositories and Sample Management conference. Join us September 8-10 in Boston, MA. 

Download the agenda to see what else is on tap.

SAVE $100. Register here and use code XP1998BLOG.

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