BC Platforms collaborates with the UK Clinical Research Collaboration Tissue Directory and Coordination Centre to provide a unique research platform to over 150 biobanks in the UK

BC Platforms, a world leader in genomic data management and analysis solutions, today announces a collaboration with the UK Clinical Research Collaboration Tissue Directory and Coordination Centre (UKCRC TDCC) to explore the development of a unique research platform for more than 150 biobanks in the UK. The UKCRC TDCC and BC Platforms will showcase the platform today at the UK Biobanking Showcase 2017 in London. The platform uses BC|RQUEST software to increase access to data and samples for research, and seeks to leverage the scale of the registry’s network of biobanks for analytics.

With BC|RQUEST, BC Platforms supports the sustainability of biobanks in the UK by helping them harness the value of their rich collections through a secure platform. Biobanks can easily search and browse patient cohorts, determine sample availability and conduct research on their own subjects. Researchers can access all of the data and samples from participating biobanks, conduct analytics on combined clinical and genomic data, communicate directly with biobanks hosting samples and data of interest and collaborate with biobanks using standard legal agreements and frameworks. Patient confidentiality is protected since individual level patient data is not exposed.

Dr. Philip Quinlan, Director of the UKCRC TDCC commented, “We are excited to showcase BC|RQUEST and to offer this opportunity to biobanks in the UK. The collaboration with BC Platforms facilitates the rapid exchange of information amongst our members and allows them to efficiently manage and grow their collections. BC|RQUEST offers our biobanks and researchers a way to identify available samples quickly, test hypotheses on combined data assets and collaborate on important research endeavours. Our member biobanks can support researchers as well as their own operations and enhancements on this platform. We are excited by the opportunities that may arise from this collaboration.”

Tero Silvola, CEO of BC Platforms, commented, “The UK has been the European front runner in utilising genomics and clinical data within the healthcare system, as well as for research. The UKCRC TDCC’s role is to ensure that biobank data is available to the ecosystem, including commercial partners like the biopharmaceutical industry, where consent allows. Through this partnership, we can save UK biobanks considerable time and expense in locating suitable samples, and harmonising and standardising various collections of data. BC|RQUEST offers a best practice approach to data management, sharing and analytics that can serve as the foundation for an efficient research environment in the UK.”

About the UK Clinical Research Collaboration Tissue Directory and Coordination Centre (UKCRC TDCC)
1. The UKCRC TDCC was set up to support the work of biobanks by improving access to their human samples for research purposes. This was a direct response to the UKCRC Funders’ Vision for Human Tissue Resources, which sought for the maximisation of human tissue samples and resources.
2. The UKCRC brings together the NHS, research funders, industry, regulatory bodies, Royal Colleges, patient groups and academia in a UK-wide environment that facilitates and promotes high quality clinical research for the benefit of patients.
3. The UKCRC funded the development of the UKCRC TDCC in 2014. UKCRC funders that have funded the Centre include: Medical Research Council, Cancer Research UK, National Institute for Health Research, Wellcome Trust, British Heart Foundation, Chief Scientist Office (Scottish Government Health Directorates), Health and Care Research Wales and the HSC Research and Development Division, Public Health Agency for Northern Ireland.
4. Biobank refers to any organisation that holds, or has the ability to collect and distribute, human samples and/or data. Other terms that are equivalent are human sample resource, bioresource, cohort, biorepository and tissue bank.
5. For more information about the UKCRC TDCC, please see the website: www.biobankinguk.org
6. To access the Tissue Directory, please see the website: https://directory.biobankinguk.org