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PHOEBE — Result In Brief

Project ID: 518148
Country: Norway

Human disease biobanking

European biosciences has amassed a large collection of population-based data. A European consortium was established to synchronise this information and translate it into clinical applications.
Human disease biobanking
Public health is strongly related to a targeted and effective clinical practice. In order to achieve this, biomedical sciences need to decipher the causes of complex diseases and translate this knowledge to therapeutic strategies. European biosciences possess a large collection of population-based studies from a wide range of countries and variations (genotypes, environment, etc).

This raw material needs the ‘magic touch’ of a multidisciplinary group of experts with a powerful statistical interpretation and integration to transform it into ‘gold’. This ‘golden’ biobank will host all the curated available information on genotypes, biomarkers, clinical tests, environmental conditions, social factors and many more in an integrative manner.

The European Union approved the EU-funded project Phoebe to initiate, establish and maintain an international network of population-based biobanks. Initially, the required bridges for the connection of the existing biobanks were built synchronising at the same time national laws and ethical guidelines. This network became the essential tool for sharing ideas, information and data promoting the collaboration of its partners.

A crucial achievement of Phoebe was the detection of candidate biobanks in Europe and the establishment of required actions for their coordination. Harmonisation was an essential action for promoting communication, creation and sharing of ideas, and more importantly it saves time and money trying to ‘re-invent the wheel’. These are basic elements of an effective and comprehensive mode of addressing biomedical research that will ensure Europe’s position at the cutting edge of international biomedical research.

Successful coordination of biobanks by Phoebe resulted in the emergence of novel knowledge, experience and expertise, which promotes effective collaboration. Availability of this information to the scientific community strengthens the ability of biomedical research to fight human diseases. Phoebe members disseminated their resources through meetings, conferences, initiatives, new projects and a variety of training opportunities. Moreover, Phoebe enhanced and orchestrated the next generation of biobanking projects.

The Phoebe initiative achieved all of its primary objectives in biobank harmonisation within the ERA, promoting the sharing of ideas and expertise, the identification of obstacles and potential solutions, and a wide range of collaboration opportunities.

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