A biobank is an organized entity with a governance in place, responsible for the management of biological resources.
Biobanks are not only intended for research purposes, but also for diagnostic and therapeutic purposes. In that context, biobanks contain samples of human and non-human origin, such as blood, tissue, bacteria, or other samples.
These samples are associated with a list of data describing sample history, sampling method, sample treatment, and the analysis outcomes. These samples are used for the development of new treatments or new technologies and for scientific publications.
Research activities require a large number of samples to obtain meaningful results. However, finding a sufficient number of patients with specific characteristics (lifestyle, age, sex, pathology, or genetic factor) available to consent to sampling is an overwhelming challenge, especially for a small country like Switzerland. Therefore, it is essential to develop a network of biobanks, which are accessible and whose samples meet pre-established, equal quality standards. As such, all biobanking activities; sample collection, transport, treatment and preparation, storage, and distribution, should be regulated, harmonized, and valued.