Biobanking Market

Global Industry Analysis (2018 – 2021) – Growth Trends and Market Forecast (2022 – 2026)


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Biobanks on their Way to Become Life-Saving Institutions

Biobanks are playing out as the key resources for advancements in life sciences. They bring about the systematic collection, and storage of samples of biological material, and associated clinical data that has been revolutionising the field of biomedical research. They form a repository that stores (conservation, inventory, and distribution), and processes biological samples to which researchers can request access to. Biobanking is being increasingly perceived as a great help to medical research, and clinical and translational medicine. With mounting chronic disease prevalence worldwide, the significance of breakthrough biobanking technology is on the rise, further supported by remarkable funds pouring in for research. Biobanks help scientists answer important questions about the disease conditions, as well as the population at risk. The answers to these questions can lead to faster, and more accurate diagnosis, leading to a better treatment.

Another feature that upholds the biobanking market is the patient registry or database that includes demographic, and standardised information about a cohesive population pool that shares share the same condition, an experience, or a medication. The global biobanking market is likely to witness rapid progress as biobanking supports future scientific investigation, uncovers the natural history of a disease, contributes to evidence-based practice, replaces clinical trials, and improves outcomes. The major transnational, European and global biobanking initiatives will significantly impact on life sciences research, drug development. The future of biobanking is particularly exciting, with brisk technology adoption. Artificial Intelligence, deep learning, computational models, and semantic searches could all revolutionise biobanking in the foreseeable future.

Need for Biobanks – A Clinical Cliff

Biological, pharmacological, and pathological research needs can only be met by biobank networks. Unlike the past, the system now ensures having access to more reliable data of patients living with rare conditions. This is because a sample size is gradually built up over a period of time, from which clinical and epidemiological research can take place on either a national or international scale - as patient numbers for a rare condition within a designated region will generally be too low for investigating specific factors. Even big institutions can hardly provide the sample number required to achieve statistical significance in biomarker validation studies. This is even more relevant when rare diseases are to be investigated, or if molecular signatures consisting of multiple parameters have to be validated. To be able to collect biomaterial, and data from sufficient subjects and/or patients, many biobanks are now operating at a multi-institutional, or even multinational level.

Biobank, Need of the Times

Human materials are now used at an early stage of drug discovery, and pre-clinical testing in an attempt to address the high failure rate seen over the years. This is because the current drug development path (early-stage drug discovery to clinical trials) is becoming increasingly challenging, inefficient, and costlier. During the last several years, the number of new drugs, and biologic applications submitted to the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has declined drastically. Moreover, the last two decades have witnessed a massive rise in chronic, multifactorial, and life-threatening diseases such as cancers, heart diseases, and diabetes. The need arose for more effective, more affordable, and safer medical products for patients. New technologies now allow scientists to catalogue changes in the genes, proteins, and cellular metabolism for different diseases. The increase in disease burden, and technological advances have, in turn, led to an increased reliance on biorepositories to collect, and manage bio specimens for research. Millions of samples are now deposited in biobanks every year. They can be used to discover particular variations of diseases or novel therapeutic targets, and thus accelerate drug discovery in the scope of personalised medicine.

Biobanks Are Categorised Based on Design, or Purpose

There are population-based, and disease-oriented biobanks. The former focuses on studying the possible future development of common, and complex diseases, while the latter is based on specific diseases. The disease-oriented biobanks were created to promote the study of human illness pathogenesis to identify possible therapeutic strategies. They are generally affiliated to hospitals where samples are collected to represent a variety of diseases. On the other hand, the population-based biobanks are not usually affiliated to hospitals as they obtain samples from large groups of different individuals. Population biobanks are large, organised, searchable repositories that are national, or international in scope. Disease-specific biobanks have the advantage of offering insights into the genetic basis of rare conditions, as well as that of more common diseases.

Biobanks are International Resources

Pharmaceutical companies are operating globally, so that samples and data from populations of different demography, and ethnic origin (compilation of data from a wide range of locations, different age groups, varying socio-economic lifestyles, and so forth) have to be investigated. This requirement for global cooperation of biobanks has far-reaching ethical, legal, social, and political implications, besides the financial, and public acceptance. A specific challenge is to find ways on how to cooperate even in the context of heterogeneous ethical, and legal frameworks, definitions, and standardisation in which national biobanks are being established. The demand for high-quality specimens with accurate, reliable, and standardised clinical, and pathological data is thus rising. The industry, as a whole, has become increasingly sophisticated, while working on the development of standardised best practices. International Organization for Standardization (ISO) - ISO 20387 standard lays down the general biobanking requisites. There are well established accreditation bodies like American Association for Laboratory Accreditation (A2LA), and International Laboratory Accreditation Cooperation (ILAC).

Most biobanks adapt to the internationally accepted guidelines-

  • Council for International Organizations of Medical Sciences
  • World Medical Association
  • World Health Organization
  • Human Genome Organization
  • United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization

Industry Interest Groups for Knowledge & Innovation, Advocacy & Value, Collaboration & Connections, and Grants-

  • The American Association for Clinical Chemistry (AACC)
  • International Society for Biological and Environmental Repositories (ISBER)
  • Specimen Central - the directory of biobanks, tissue banks, and biorepositories
  • Biobanking and BioMolecular Resources Research Infrastructure (BBMRI-ERIC)

Major Business Players in Global Biobanking Space

Biobank Graz, Shanghai Zhangjiang Biobank, All of Us Biobank, The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) Biobank (IBB), China Kadoorie Biobank, UK Biobank, FINNGEN biobanks, Canadian Partnership for Tomorrow Project Biobank, EuroBioBank network, and Qatar Biobank represent the largest 10 players in the global biobanking market. Some other prominent ones that provide equipment, and instruments involved in biobanking, are Alexandria Cancer Biobank, Cardiff University Biobank (CUB), Creative Bioarray, CRB Amazonie, Club 3C-R: French network of biobanks, CRYOSTEM, Coriell Institute, Cytologics, Geneticist, Gold Coast Biobank, Hemoline, iSpecimen, Medpace Labs Biorepository, National BioService, and St Vincent's Biobank, Abeyance, Autoscribe Informatics, B Medical Systems, Brooks Life Sciences, Bruker,, Patheon, Perkin Elmer, SPT Labtech, and Kairos.

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