The First Digital Biobank Is Being Created In Russia

The First Digital Biobank Is Being Created In Russia

The First Digital Biobank Is Being Created In Russia

Date: 7 October 2021

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The first digital biobank will be created in Russia. The platform was developed by the National BioService (NBS), which is engaged in the development of a network of domestic biobanks within the framework of the Helsnet roadmap of the National Technology Initiative (NTI) and is a portfolio company of the RVC Biofund. Digitalization will provide opportunities for information exchange between laboratories and biobanks of the regions of the Russian Federation and the rapid fulfillment of requests for the provision of samples of biological materials for research and development.

The NBS digital platform is a unified information system that allows you to manage a geographically distributed collection of samples of biological materials. The software and database for the network biobank have already been created, the processes of registration, sample preparation, storage and delivery of biological materials to researchers through a digital platform have been organized.

Irina Koshkarova, Advisor to the CEO of National BioService: “The digital bank is still functioning as an internal information platform and is used to conduct the company’s own research. We are planning to scale this system for cooperation with clinical and research organizations. When developing the platform, it was important to ensure the security of the transmitted data, prepare and launch a functional module to fulfill requests for samples.”

The collection of biological materials of the NBS has already reached hundreds of thousands of samples. We are talking about tissue samples and cell lines, without which it is impossible to create any modern drug or diagnostic test. One of the directions is the development and production of tissue microchips (TMA).

A tissue microchip is a paraffin block with embedded tissue cylinders with a diameter of 0.6 to 3.0 mm. Paraffin sections of TMA are used for histological, immunohistochemical or molecular genetic studies. With their help, among other things, methods for diagnosing and combating coronavirus are being developed. Since 2020, a scientific consortium of St. Petersburg State University and Dresden Technical University has been operating in partnership with the NBS for an in-depth study of the immune system response to coronavirus infection. The essence of the approach is to assess the possibility of using the plasma of COVID-19 patients with a known titer of neutralizing antibodies in the complex treatment of severe patients.

Background Information

National BioService is the first Russian wide-profile research biobank. The company was established at the end of 2013 with the support of the RVC Biofund, which acted as a co-investor of the project. In 2015, NBS became a resident of Skolkovo. Within the framework of the NTI Helsnet roadmap, the company has been operating since 2018, it is engaged in a project to create a technology for network biobanks of tissues and cell lines for research purposes in the regions of the Russian Federation. Prior to the start of the project, NBS had three own biobanks – in St. Petersburg, Nizhny Novgorod and Moscow. Over the next three years, our own biobanks were opened in Samara and Adler. Preparations are underway for the opening in Rostov-on-Don and Yekaterinburg. In parallel, a network of partner clinical centers and biobanks carrying out research projects of varying complexity is being developed in the regions of Russia. Since 2018, NBS has expanded its partner network by more than 25%, which now unites about 140 organizations in several dozen cities.

Among the partners of the NBS are the FSBI “CSP” of the FMBA of Russia, the FSBI “National Medical Research Center for Therapy and Preventive Medicine” of the Ministry of Health of the Russian Federation, the Research Institute of Cytology of the Russian Academy of Sciences, the Sechenov First Moscow State Medical University of the Ministry of Health of the Russian Federation, the Research Institute of Epidemiology and Microbiology. Honorary Academician N.F. Gamalei of the Russian Academy of Medical Sciences, Kazan State Medical University of the Ministry of Health of Russia, M.F. Vladimirsky State Medical University of the Russian Academy of Medical Sciences, Russian Society of Clinical Oncology RUSSCO.

ANO “NTI Platform” is a non-profit organization that provides service non-financial support to participants of the ecosystem of the National Technology Initiative (more than 3.1 thousand high-tech companies). The NTI platform helps entrepreneurs to unite for the development and implementation of high-tech projects, the development of concepts of NTI markets, and the preparation of “road maps”. In 2020, the number of unique users using the services created and developed by the NTI Platform exceeded 1.5 million people. The founders of the ANO “NTI Platform”: the Russian Federation represented by the Ministry of Science and Higher Education of the Russian Federation and the ANO “Agency for Strategic Initiatives to Promote New Projects”.