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Newly published guidance for biobanking will help to advance scientific research and development even further.

Biobanks are literally transforming our world. Holding hundreds of millions of biological samples, including those from humans, animals, plants and microbes, they help the global scientific community further everything from crop production to personalized medicine.

ISO already has a widely used International Standard that outlines the requirements for biobanking, ISO 20387. A new guidance document has just been published to help organizations get the most out of it.

ISO/TR 22758, Biotechnology – Biobanking – Implementation guide for ISO 20387, provides detailed guidance on how to implement the requirements of ISO 20387, Biotechnology – Biobanking – General requirements for biobanking.

The new technical report is intended to be a supplement to, rather than a substitute for, ISO 20387, which details the requirements for the competence, impartiality and consistent operation of biobanks. Together, the two documents help to improve the quality of biological material and data collections that are stored and shared, enhance the outcomes of collaboration, strengthen trust between partners and advance research and development.

Dr Ricardo Gent, Chair of the ISO committee that developed them, said that biobanks vary widely in terms of the kinds of biological material they hold, the activities they undertake, the services they provide, as well as their geographical location, size and structure.

“Having internationally agreed common guidelines helps to improve the performance of biobanks because it cuts through these differences and creates a worldwide shared understanding of quality, trust and reliability,” he said.

“The requirements of ISO 20387 are already complex, so the complementary guidance in ISO/TR 22758 will help organizations to have a much better understanding of how to implement the standard and how they can fully appreciate the benefits it brings.”

ISO/TR 22758 and ISO 20387 were developed by ISO technical committee ISO/TC 276, Biotechnology, the secretariat of which is held by DIN, ISO’s member for Germany. They are available from your national ISO member or through the ISO Store.

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Clare Naden

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