ITM biobank – Information for patients and researchers
Information for patients
What is the ITM biobank and what is it used for?
A biobank is a physical repository of biological material. All biological material linked to the donor (patient) is recorded in the central register. That material is used for (clinical) research.
The ITM biobank will, for the purpose of scientific research, obtain, process, store and provide human body material. This will be done in strict compliance with the rules and legislation of the Royal Decree on biobanks and international guidelines. Patient consent is required to use the human body material for research purposes. Furthermore, the biobank guarantees full traceability of its samples.
Each study is ethically assessed by ITM's Institutional Review Board (IRB). The ITM biobank is registered with the Federal Agency for Medicines and Health Products (FAMHP, in Dutch "FAGG"), with registration number BB190041.
What happens to my samples in the biobank?
The ITM biobank collects residual material, that is, remaining material that would normally be destroyed when a diagnosis is established.
Researchers use residual material from the travel clinic and the STI clinic. The use of this material resorts under presumed consent, meaning that the material may be used for research purposes unless the patient actively gives his or her refusal to staff of the clinic. Patients of the HIV clinic actively sign an informed consent, giving permission to have their residual material used for research. The latter also applies to patients participating in a clinical trial.
Samples are always coded or treated anonymously. Examinations of samples take place in the labs of ITM, as well as externally, if approved by ITM.
Where can I find more information?
Information for researchers
What are the activities of the ITM biobank?
The ITM biobank is a physical repository of biological material. In the central register all biological material is registered, correlated with the data.
This biological material can be of various origins. We handle both human and non-human body material, including:
The ITM biobank will, for the purpose of scientific research, obtain, process, store and provide body material. All samples were obtained according to the ethical and legal provisions in force at the time of collection. The biobank is registered with the Federal Agency for Medicines and Health Products (FAMPH, in Dutch "FAGG"), with registration number BB190041.
Which samples are stored in the ITM biobank?
The samples in the ITM biobank come from European (including Belgium) and non-European countries. The biobank contains both recent and historical samples, with a large presence of infectious diseases.
A Biobank Exit Committee is responsible for deciding whether or not samples can be used by external parties. The transfer of samples requires a Material Transfer Agreement (MTA) or equivalent contract. Furthermore, an expense allowance is also required for samples.
What is a Biobank Exit Committee?
The Exit Committee will assess the availability of ITM samples upon request from external applicants.
External applicants may be researchers from academic and non-academic origins or from commercial and non-profit organisations. The samples can only be requested for a specific project, such as a study, validation for an existing test, development of a new test, etc. The Exit Committee also provides advice on internal questions, such as whether to retain or destroy samples.