Navigating the Trail: Finding the Path to Biobank Sustainability through Sound Business Planning

June 10th, 2015 in Featured Article
Daniel Simeon-Dubach, medservice, Marianne Henderson, NCI

Daniel Simeon-Dubach and Marianne Henderson co-chaired the session on sustainability with Monique Albert (not pictured) of the Ontario Cancer Institute

Biobanking is finally attaining recognition as a key infrastructure for scientific research and clinical care.  With this recognition, biobanks in the different sectors of our community are experiencing different states of biobank financial sustainability. More often than not, planning for financial sustainability is not part of the initial business modeling of a biobank, even if it is stated as a long term attainable goal. Across the sectors, it is clear that biobanks must think “professionally” from the start to be able to attain and maintain financial sustainability. Just as we plan a biospecimen collection with the “end in mind,” we need to plan for financially sustainable biobanking from the beginning of the planning process to create a biobank.

At this year’s ISBER Annual Meeting & Exhibits held in Phoenix, AZ, a full session presented alternative models of funding and a focus on business planning for biobanking. The contributors and discussants of this symposium were Marshall Schreeder, Conversant Biologics, USA; Ward Ortmann, Genentech, USA; Clive Green, AstraZeneca, UK; Praveen Saxena, Gosling Research Institute for Plant Preservation (GRIPP), University of Guelph, Canada; Helen Moore, Biorepositories and Biospecimen Research Branch (BBRB), DCTD/NCI/NIH/DHHS, USA; Natalie Polinske, Aurora Research Institute, USA; Joshua LaBaer, Virginia G. Piper Center for Personalized Diagnostics, Biodesign Institute, Arizona State University, USA and Cathy Seiler, St. Joseph’s Hospital and Medical Center, USA. We had a full house of attendees to the session so, clearly, this is an important issue to our community. The question and answer period during the panel discussion lasted long after the symposium time period had ended.

To capture the information and thoughts of from this session, we have invited each of the panelists to write papers for inclusion in a special issue on sustainability through sound business planning in Biopreservation and Biobanking, scheduled to be published later this year. We also reached out to additional ISBER 2015 attendees who presented different aspects of how to approach the issue of sustainability within the contributing paper and poster sessions. Several of these authors have accepted the invitation to contribute to the special sustainability issue in BIO.

We are very excited that thanks to the continued support of ISBER President and Editor in Chief Jim Vaught, the ISBER community, and all interested in biobank sustainability. While we are writing, we refer you to the October and December issues of BIO that resulted from ISBER 2014’s initial discussions of Biobank sustainability from a mostly academic perspective (see BIO 2014, Vol 12, issues 5 & 6). We encourage the ongoing dialogue on sustainability within ISBER’s Open Forum.  Please share your views on and issues with Biobank sustainability.  Within our community discussions and publications, we can foster solutions toward sustainability in biobanking across the globe.

Chairpersons: Monique Albert, Ontario Institute for Cancer Research (Canada), Marianne Henderson, National Cancer Institute (USA), Daniel Simeon-Dubach, medservice (Switzerland)

One Response to Navigating the Trail: Finding the Path to Biobank Sustainability through Sound Business Planning

  1. Laura says:

    I am looking forward to reading this publication as I was not able to attend this year’s annual meeting.

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