Despite Mixed Attitudes Towards Biobanking, Demand Will Continue to Grow, Says GBI Research

21 Jan, 2016, 07:00 ET from GBI Research

LONDON, January 21, 2016 /PRNewswire/ --

Demand for biobanks will continue to increase in North America and Europe despite various ethical and financial concerns, says GBI Research.

A report from business intelligence provider GBI Research - Biobanking: Developing Smart, Sustainable and Ethically Compliant Biorepositories for the Future - states that the high cost and vague financial strategies of many biobanks, combined with some public skepticism, will not deter demand for these facilities, which collect human biospecimens and associated data for medical-scientific research.

Biobanks have various useful applications for clinical researchers, including leveraging samples and genetic data to accelerate the development of companion diagnostics, helping to reduce development times and costs for new medicines, and supporting knowledge creation and scientific discovery across a range of disciplines. For a complimentary sample of this research, please visit the GBI Research website.

Managing Analyst Rodrigo Gutierrez Gamboa: "Clinical trials and epidemiological studies have contributed to improved understanding of certain diseases but, with the growth of biotechnology and phenotypic information, there is a need for the involvement of biobanks in such trials. The main aim of clinical trial-related biobanking is to identify and provide disease or trial-associated biomarkers.

"The integration of novel tools such as Big Data techniques, coupled with the increasing industry need for high-quality biospecimens for research, will lead to expanding cell and tissue collections, ultimately resulting in increased biobank usage."

GBI Research's report also states that despite the useful applications of biobanking, the creation and endurance of biobanks depends on people's willingness to donate and have their samples stored. In this way, community engagement is a central component of biobanking governance, as the participation and support of the public is important for the success of any biobank.

Gutierrez Gamboa explains: "The public's attitude towards biobanking is mixed, with some people having concerns over disclosing personal and medical information. Public support also depends to a large extent on what the samples are used for, as the treatment of disease is generally valued highly, while other interventions that aim to impact areas such as cosmetics or gender-reassignment are seen as less acceptable."

Another obstacle to the further development of biobanks is their high cost, combined with the risk involved with long-term investment that relies upon a number of financial unknowns.

Gutierrez Gamboa concludes: "Most biobanks are reportedly employing relatively vague cost models, suggesting a lack of financial strategy. Failure to accurately capture costs may lead to the early termination of projects, and may prove to be the downfall of various biobanks."

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SOURCE GBI Research