New drugs and treatments development requires experiments on animals and humans. However, many problems can be solved just by studying the samples of human tissues outside the human body. To this end, Russia is establishing a nationwide network of biobanks.
According to Vitaly Prutsky, the head of National BioService (NBS), this project provides for developing the All-Russian network of biobanks. They will collaborate with clinical centers. NBS will provide materials to diagnostic and pharmaceutical organizations and conduct independent studies.
“For example, N.F. Gamaleya Scientific Research Institute of Epidemiology and Microbiology in Moscow is developing antibodies against the Ebola virus,” said Vitaly Prutsky. “This involves a risk of side effects. For example, what if a person is treated for Ebola but suddenly goes blind? So, we are helping Gamaleya Institute to study the reaction of antibodies to a wide variety of tissues.”
NBS biobanking and bioservice are sought after by pharmaceutical and diagnostic companies not only from Russia but also other countries.
“Our organization is integrated into the international process of innovative medical research,” said Anton Vasilyev, Chief Investment Director of RVC InfraFund, the management organization of BioFund.
He added that there are about 200 large biobanks outside Russia. But leading international pharmaceutical companies are willing to use the services of Russian NBS.