CryoXtract Blog

Dr. Peng Wang of the Beijing Biobank of Clinical Resources Emphasizes China’s Critical Role in the Future of the Industry

Posted by Andy Zaayenga on Dec 18, 2014 11:37:03 AM

In a recent interview with Dr. Peng Wang, Chief Executive Officer of the Beijing Biobank of Clinical Resources at Capital Medical University (CMU), ISBER President Andy Zaayenga discussed the history and key facets of the Chinese biobanking industry. With 15 clinical-based biobanks, the CMU network is now in phase two of  its development and houses approximately 100,000 cases for major disease research.

The Chinese biobank system is a large network consisting of biobanks from several major Chinese hospitals. Through strict maintenance of its central database and bioinformatics network, CMU promotes unified standards across sites and emphasizes the critical importance of maintaining sample integrity and output.

The rapidly growing CMU biobank network is financially supported by the Beijing Municipal Science and Technology Committee, and its samples target research in major diseases including cardiovascular and cerebrovascular diseases, metabolic diseases such as diabetes, and cancer. Information on collection sizes and scope is available to researchers and the public on the biobank’s website, which promotes sharing and utilization of these valuable specimens throughout China.

Dr. Wang, who led the establishment of the clinical biobank for PUMC hospital in 2009, says each biobank in the system reports collecting 150-1500 samples each week. “With the rapid increase in prevalence of major diseases within the Chinese population, the financial burden of patient treatment is growing,” said Dr. Wang. “Finding a way to improve diagnosis and treatment options for these patients is a critical task for the medical society.”

Furthermore, the biobanking movement in China is responding to the increasing global emphasis on translational medical research. The population’s relatively large sample pool offers a tremendous resource for medical researchers across the globe, potentially reducing sample collection timelines. The industry's promising developmental trajectory does face hurdles, however. Implementing unified quality control and evaluation programs and harmonizing a collaborative sample sharing system are key elements of success.

To read the interview transcript, click here.

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Topics: Andy Zaayenga, biobanking, Chinese biobanks