A biobank is an organised entity responsible for the governance and 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 considerable amount of samples to obtain meaningful results. However, finding a sufficient number of patients having 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. Thus, every biobanking activity, such as the sample collection, the transport, the treatment and preparation, the storing, and the distribution, should be regulated, harmonised, and valued.