How can our project benefit from health data in biobanks and registers?

Biobanks are a rich source of extensive human sample collections and associated data, complemented by world-class expertise and services. In the following paragraphs you will find useful information about biobanks, their characteristics, and benefits, to harness to secure establishing productive collaborations.

1. Real world data

Health and behavioral data gathered in a real world setting are particularly valuable for developing innovative products and services.

  • Real world data is unbiased towards sampling and can be mined with machine learning and artificial intelligence approaches.
  • Complete data enables novel products and services to be benchmarked against existing solutions on the market.
  • Biobank data collections can streamline the development, validation and testing processes for computational products and services on real world data at scale.
  • Particularly valuable are biobanks that gather longitudinal information from several data sources as this allows cross-validation and leads to higher data quality and completeness.

2. Biological samples

Access to biological samples with comprehensive health and behavioral information can substantially accelerate innovation.

  • Sample collection, storage and processing is expensive, time-consuming and requires expert knowledge.
  • Industry often chooses to work with pre-existing collections and minimize financial risks.
  • Biological samples are of interest for 1) testing new technologies, 2) developing new biological insights and 3) directly contributing to drug discovery processes.

3. Expert know-how & services

Biobanks that offer consulting services in the fields of clinical medicine, statistics, epidemiology, genomics, functional genetics, bioinformatics, molecular biology and similar, in addition to data assets, are especially appealing to industry partners for the following reasons:

  • Health data is complex and often requires interpretation by local standards.
  • These biobanks have better structured, harmonized and validated data.
  • Directly employing a wide range of experts is financially unreasonable for companies and involves long term commitments.
  • Such biobanks offer the potential to license existing IP or develop joint IP.

4. Engaged participant cohort

Access to a large, engaged participant population either through web-portals, emails or physical visits by recall is of very high interest to industry.

  • Often, the local legislation or consent does not allow recontact; and static data is less valuable as it allows for fewer and less comprehensive research designs.
  • Particularly valuable are biobanks which have processes for phenotype and genotype-based recalls in place, as these enable Smart Clinical Trials – a concept where a patient population is comprehensively characterized prior to recruitment into a trial.
    • The possibility of email recontact allows to invite participants to fill in surveys, download and test mobile apps or distribute wearables for testing and validation.