How to gain access to samples?
Biobank research is defined by the Finnish law as research done with samples or data from biobanks for the purposes of promoting health, understanding the mechanisms of disease or developing the products and treatment practices used in health promotion and medical care.
The researching party wishing to utilize biobank samples or data can access descriptions of the biobank collections. If relevant samples or data are found in the biobanks, the researching party must submit a requisition to obtain them. The biobank evaluates if the suitable data or samples for the research are available. In general, the data is faster and easier to obtain than the actual samples. However, the granting process is relatively fast. The decisions are made by biobank.
The scientific merits and goals
The research must be scientifically high-quality and significant in its research branch in order to be approved. A written requisition must include an accurate research plan and the details, how the biobank samples and data will be used. The research resources and procedures must be of high quality. Depending on the research, a statement by an ethics committee may be needed, e.g. if the research includes a contact with the sample donors.
Collaboration with companies
The law as well as the donor consents allow the use of biobank data and samples also for commercial goals such as developing new medications or diagnostic tools. In addition, it is possible to choose specific cohorts among the biobank donors and offer them a possibility to participate in the trials. The research plans of companies are also evaluated based on their scientific qualities. The commercial actors, such as pharmaceutical companies, are encouraged to collaborate with academic researchers to create innovations. With collaboration, it is easier to develop and create new products, treatments or health care practices.
The data as a shared resource
The Finnish biobank system is built upon the idea of the shared research resources. Therefore, as a rule, the samples and data are open for scientific use.
The Finnish law guarantees an equal right to apply. All you need is a sound research plan and the resources for your research. Will you be the next applicant to take advantage of the Finnish opportunities?