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Press releases

DZHK establishes two central biobanks - cooperation partners welcome

Blood samples such as serum, EDTA or citrate plasma as well as urine samples and shock-frozen, cardiovascular punch biopsies are currently stored at 60 study centres throughout Germany - they are to be centralised in two biobanks. | © tippapatt - stock.adobe.com

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The German Center for Cardiovascular Research is centralizing its biospecimens collections, which are currently stored at 60 sites. Therefore, it is looking for two biobanks as scientific cooperation partners. Applications are now open to all German biobanks.

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Human biospecimens and real patient data are an important resource for medical research and therapy development. Over the course of eight years, the German Center for Cardiovascular Research (DZHK) has collected more than 250,000 biospecimens, creating a valuable base for cardiovascular research and beyond. The resource can be used by researchers worldwide and examined, for example, for genetic risks for a specific disease.

The biospecimens in the DZHK Heart Bank are linked to clinical data and have been collected from DZHK-funded clinical trials, registries and cohorts according to standardized procedures. Data and biospecimens are available for open-purpose secondary use. The DZHK Heart Bank is the largest and only cardiovascular resource of its kind in Germany.

Data treasure to be combined at two biobank sites

To make this valuable resource even more usable for researchers around the world in the future, the human samples are to be transferred to a central biobank with only two locations. To this end, the DZHK will invest €2 million over the next five years. The splitting of the biospecimens into two biobanks at different locations is in line with the current backup concept. Together with the biobanks as important scientific cooperation partners, the DZHK would like to better exploit the potential of the DZHK Research Platform and the DZHK Heart Bank in scientific projects.

All national biobanks are eligible to apply, provided they have an automated storage system (min. -80°C). Two biobanks will be selected as cooperation partners for the DZHK Clinical Research Platform. Thus, they become part of a unique platform that the DZHK has been continuously developing for more than ten years: It now consists of standardized IT systems, procedures and guidelines. For example, all biospecimens are collected according to the same standards, and storage and collection are clearly regulated in terms of data protection and ethics.

In 2020, the DZHK made its Clinical Research Platform available to the nationwide Network University Medicine (NUM) in order to collect data and specimens from corona patients from German university hospitals quickly and in high quality across clinics.

All info about the call at www.dzhk.de/en/research/research-focus/calls/zentrale-dzhk-biobanken/

Contact: Dr. Ivonne Wallrabenstein, Biobanking Manager, 030 3465 529-09, ivonne.wallrabenstein(at)dzhk.de