Academic biobanks are an incomparable resource of unique samples that represent real-life patients such as samples from cancer patients undergoing IO (immuno-oncology) therapy. The specimens preserved within provide the foundation for advances in biomarker discovery, precision medicine, and other cutting-edge technologies. Unfortunately, accessing that resource can be prohibitively complex for industry researchers.
Azenta Life Sciences bridges the gap between biobanks and industry. It partners with biobanks around the world to help industry scientists procure the samples they need while also respecting the policies and guidelines of the academic institutions and expectations of the PIs collecting the samples.
Part of those conversations includes acting as a translator of sorts between two cultures, who may view bio-specimens quite differently. With biospecimens needs becoming each day more complex, the need of multiple sites to fulfill the need for these samples is urgent and Azenta, through its network, can support this need.
Azenta actively fosters partnerships between their biobank partners and industry clients, and the first step is clearly communicating proper use of the samples and making sure both sides understand each other’s concerns.
Also, we emphasize the principles of traceability and transparency. Traceability is very important for academic biobanks so they can respect patients consents. They want to know where their samples will go, who will use them, and why. On the industry side, it’s critical that scientists know the pre-analytical conditions of the samples. Azenta ensures that the end user receives complete information on how and where the specimens have been collected.
Azenta helps biobanks gain visibility in a growing sea of biospecimen repositories. When needed, it also helps biobanks to be ready to work with the industry by consulting on process, timelines, contract, and others.
When a pharma company enlists our services, they begin by canvassing their contractual network of institutions. However, if they can’t find the right specimens among the biobanks within their network, they reach out to other biobanks not yet under contract. Then they arrange for direct communication between the two entities, which facilitates the initial transfer of materials, and may also lead to other possibilities of partnerships.
Azenta’s vision is to offer a network of expert academic biobanks to industry researchers, each focusing in one specific disease, to facilitate samples access, communication and collaboration between academic and industry researchers.