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International biobank provides database for cancer researchers worldwide

Medicines Discovery Catapult collaborated with Manchester University to create a sustainable model for a biorepository providing a critical data for researchers investigating patient side-effects from radiotherapy.

Sustainable International biobank supporting cancer research worldwide

Providing links to SMEs

Supporting future radiotherapy related research

The REQUITE project, funded by the EU between 2013-2018 and co-ordinated by the University of Manchester, succeeded in establishing an international observational study of patients undergoing radiotherapy for breast, prostate or lung cancer. The aim of the study was to try to predict which patients are more likely to have side-effects from radiotherapy.

The REQUITE consortium recruited 4,438 patients and succeeded in establishing a centralised biorepository linked to a comprehensive clinical database. A public data discovery platform enables researchers to query the REQUITE resource. With funding ending in 2018, consortium partners did not want to lose such a valuable resource.

A team of researchers at the University of Manchester were keen to develop a model that enabled continued access to these patient samples and high-quality data to support future radiotherapy related research. The intention was to create a sustainable model to ensure continued maintenance of the database and biobank.

The team at Medicines Discovery Catapult reviewed their proposed cost recovery model to help them develop a sustainable (not-for-profit) resource that would provide researchers with access to stored patient samples and data. Advice was provided on comparable cost models, funding restrictions, procedures for access, long-term use and storage. They also signposted the REQUITE team to Genomics England for advice on commercial access agreements.

Catapult expertise also helped the University of Manchester promote and provide access to the biobank to other researchers worldwide. They are also helping the team to explore opportunities with SMEs and support future access. Following interest from a US research team, the REQUITE team were able to successfully agree sample and data access for approximately 1,800 samples alongside accompanying clinical research data.

Medicines Discovery Catapult provided guidance around fair pricing for clinical samples, and reviewed our cost recovery model. This was a useful exercise as we look to facilitate access to the biobank and database for cancer researchers worldwide.

Rebecca Elliott
Senior Project Manager, University of Manchester