The availability of high-quality human tissue linked to clinical data is pivotal to the success of Precision Medicine and translational research. Arguably, existing material within academic and clinical institutions generally is sub-optimally accessed to ever fulfil its enormous potential and a number of organisational/operational barriers have often been identified by many to explain this.
Newcastle has a strong tradition of curating research tissue and developing biobanks; one of the most compelling examples of success is the Newcastle Brain Tissue Resource which has underpinned a myriad of world leading studies in neurodegeneration, most notably in Lewy Body dementia.
The NovoPath Biobank (previously CePA) was established in 2017 as an NHS resource for research. It has full Biobanking REC approval until 2022. It includes provision for access to tissues that are surplus to diagnostic purposes on a prospective basis ‘on request’. It also allows for access to the huge tissue archive of FFPE blocks dating back some 25 years; to give some context to this, currently >200,000 blocks per annum are currently collected and stored.