The Central Biobank Registrar (CBR) has been initiated under the EURIPRED project, a 4-year Infrastructures Project which has received funding from the European Union’s Seventh Programme for research, technological development and demonstration (grant agreement No 312661).
The CBR is a digital biobank and is a collection of information on human biological materials including blood, plasma, saliva, purified DNA and other biospecimens held at biobanks around the world. CBR includes data on samples collected from patients with a variety of diseases including HIV, TB, Malaria, HEP, brain, cancer, etc. CBR can also be viewed as the world largest disease-oriented information repository that will help researchers to swiftly identify available samples needed for their research and build working relationships with physical biobanks worldwide in order to facilitate collaborations and networks and enable access to biological materials.
The digital biobank is built on technological advancements and new IT techniques to offer opportunities for information sharing within the global biobank market. We anticipate that as the CBR grows and develops it will add efficiency to the connections between biobanks and researchers and will become an important tool in the development of new vaccines and early drug discoveries. In addition, CBR will promote new collaborations and partnerships among academics, biobanks, and companies.
The virtual repository offers its members a variety of services including a dedicated area for the inclusion of text, virtual tours of the biobank and online tutorials, the ability to link external documents such as protocols and images of samples and an area for order forms or request forms enabling customers to connect directly with the biobank. Additionally, members will be granted access to a private area of the CBR where they can manage information on the availability of samples if required, or share information with collaborators and colleagues.
The invited biobanks are given login and password. The biobank then creates a personal page where information about the biobank itself and available specimens. The biobank may also include any information such as price list, videos, images of specimens and other information. The biobank may update the uploaded information at any time.
The researcher enters the biobank area and inserts in the SEARCH window keywords. In a matter of seconds, the researcher will have access to all biobanks characterized by selected keywords. This saves considerable time and becomes an indispensable tool in the European and world biomedical research.