The coronavirus pandemic has resulted in an urgent need for research into diagnostics, vaccines and treatments. Many of the researchers developing these products need to use tissue from COVID-19 patients in their research. The demand for blood and other tissue types from patients is exceeding supply.
To address this research need, the UKCRC TDCC has been working across the biobanking community to identify any opportunities for collaboration. TapB
, a partnership between University College London and the Royal Free Hospital, was one of the first UK biobanks
able to collect samples from patients for wider research use. They were able to successfully provide whole blood to researchers but they could not provide serum or plasma which many researchers were requesting. A lack of facilities meant TapB could not process samples to meet researchers need. This issue was becoming a bottleneck between collecting samples and using them in research, also driving up prices and competition.