The MedUni Wien Biobank considers itself as a link between basic and clinical research with the aim of enhancing research opportunities into emerging diagnostic, prognostic and predictive biomarkers and therapy strategies. This aspiration is met by supporting researchers in processing, storage and analysis of human tissue, cells and fluids for academic research and clinical trials. The centrally located facility consists of cooperating projects residing at different Departments and Clinical Institutes of the Medical University of Vienna. The purpose of this facility was to bridge the gap between sample collection and analysis in large prospective clinical trials at the Medical University of Vienna. During the following years, the biobank project expanded slowly but continuously to provide a centralized storage facility to a relevant part of scientist located at the Vienna General Hospital. Thus, it currently maintains more than 50 different collections containing blood, blood compounds, urine, stool, cells, nucleic acid and tissue samples as well as a plethora of diagnostic reference samples containing cerebrospinal fluid, tissue and various other biomaterials accessible under certain conditions.
Of course, a major part of these above mentioned collections consists of biomaterial donated by carefully selected patients and participants in defined prospective clinical trials, whereas a further part is made up of disease specific samples contributed by patients addressing specialized outpatient wards at the associated General Hospital of Vienna.
Each prospective collection within the MedUni Wien Biobank needs approval by the local ethics committee. The Biobank management spares no effort in order to support clinical collaborators with appropriate verbalization of biobank study protocols and application forms. Standard informed consent forms are carefully adapted and thus contain detailed information about the purpose and the circumstances of sample storage, as well as contact data of responsible persons that can be contacted in case of opting-out.
Due to limited availability biological material, access of course has to be restricted to projects which will most likely yield benefits for patient treatment and risk prediction. In case of access, an ad-hoc committee constituted by the Clinical partner and the MedUni Wien Biobank will consensually decide upon access to (anonymized) clinical data and material on the principles of good scientific practice and ethical standards of the Medical University of Vienna.