Denmark gets a  

national biobank

2012.03.21
Denmark’s first national biobank opens today. The bank has millions of frozen biological samples which will be a goldmine for researchers.

Starting from now, Danish researches will only have to search in one place to find tissue samples from all Danes, combined with their disease history, treatment and family relationships.

A new national biobank opening today will supplement Denmark’s national registers of medicine use, disease diagnoses and family relations. The Danish National Biobank will be a goldmine for researches, writes the online science news site ScienceNordic.

The biobank will enable researchers to combine all this information in Denmark’s registers while studying diseases or genetic faults in a larger context.

- The idea was to provide easy access to the many biological samples we have today and will get in the future, says Professor Mads Melbye, the director of the Division of Epidemiology at the State Serum Institute (SSI); who initiated the project, to ScienceNordic.

- In this way we can put our comprehensive research resources at the disposal of all the country’s researchers, Melbye adds.

Denmark stands alone internationally with registers that include everyone living in the country, and they can be followed from cradle to grave – the only country with the whole of its population in a single cohort.

As well as samples, the new biobank has a register with links to information in the many other health-related registers in Denmark.

Denmark’s National Biobank is a goldmine for researchers

This gives the biobank an enormous research advantage when researchers are looking for causal relations between diseases and treatments.

The Danish National Biobank will in time house 15 million biological samples, but at the start it will have the five to six million samples already at the disposal of the State Serum Institute.

The biobank receives about 1,000 new samples every day, and Melbye hopes that the Danish National Biobank will collaborate with other laboratories in the future, so it will receive even more samples.

According to ScienceNordic, the international scientific journal Science has described Denmark as the great dream of epidemiologists because the country’s many comprehensive registers make it easier for epidemiologists to carry out research in diseases.

The existence of such a biobank underscores that Denmark is an attractive destination for global Pharma companies to conduct clinical trials in.

 

Watch GSK explain why they have invested in clinical trials in Denmark.

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