In response to a specific infrastructure call of the Seventh Framework Programme (FP7) of the European Commission, BBMRI-LPC*, a European-wide project involving 30 partners from 17 countries, has received a 8M € funding to enhance access by academic and industry scientists to the largest European 'biobanks'.
The project represents the next phase of the successful EU biobanking programme BBMRI (Biobanking and Biomolecular Resources Research Infrastructure), which was operational from 2007-2011.
BBMRI-LPC led by the University Medical Centers of Helsinki (Finland) and Leiden (the Netherlands) had its kick-off meeting in Amsterdam 11-12 February and will now run for the following 4 years. The project will specifically focus on large population cohorts and aims to enable academic and industrial scientists to improve our understanding of human biology, thereby leading to novel and better medicines and treatments for common and rare diseases.
Over recent years, biomedical research has crossed international borders in large, collaborative studies substantiating the value of collaboration between experts from different fields as well as the value of large numbers of samples. In the past decades, European countries have invested millions euros of funding and substantial amount of time for the establishment of large collections of volunteering individuals' biological samples and health-related information to be used in the research of human health and disease. The access to this study material, however, is often hindered by the limited resources for sharing samples and data between the fellow scientists, and by differences between nearby countries in their legal and ethical procedures.
The BBMRI-LPC project endeavors to unite the large study sets of the European Biobanking and Biomolecular Resources Research Infrastructure (BBMRI) and the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), thereby achieving a biobanking network with a scale of integration that is unique worldwide. BBMRI-LPC will assist the European health industry by promoting new and existing public-private partnerships, which will strengthen the European niche in the development of medicine and treatments as well as assist governments in returning the investment made by all European tax payers.
* Biobanking and Biomolecular Resources Research Infrastructure (BBMRI) - Large Prospective Cohorts (LPC)