An agreement between Trans-Hit Bio (THB), a contract research organization (CRO) specializing in human biospecimens, and Maricopa Integrated Health System (MIHS) was signed to provide THB with access to MIHS’ biospecimen collection.
Per the agreement, THB will promote MIHS capabilities in procuring collections from clinical centers.
Vanessa Tumilasci, project director for Trans-Hit Bio told us, that, generally, community medical centers like MIHS don’t have the resources or infrastructure to support biospecimen collection, so many specimens are discarded, and the few centers that have the infrastructure lack visibility.
“Trans-Hit Bio, with its portfolio of researchers, is able to facilitate the provision of these valuable biospecimens to biopharma organizations who often have difficulty in identifying sources for ethically-collected high-quality samples with comprehensive associated clinical data,” said Tumilasci.
The agreement between MIHS and THB is limited to interactions solely within the biopharma community as facilitated by THB. MIHS can still provide samples to its in-house and academic researchers, as well as to industry-sponsored clinical trials.
“This agreement strengthens Trans-Hit Bio’s capacity for providing well-annotated samples from the general population in the US. This is an approach we have adopted successfully in many other countries and which we are confident will be successful with other organizations in the near future,” said Tumilasci.
She further explained that this agreement is not about commercialization but rather helping the biopharmaceutical industry gain access to clinical samples that can be critical to diagnostic development.
We reported in May that there has been a growing emphasis on biobanking. It is critical to enable genomic, proteomics, and immune modulation which are all needed for the research and development of new diagnostic and curative therapies. Biobanking also plays a role in personalized medicine development.
Tumilasci told us that more than 80% of the general American population is treated at community medical centers and biospecimens collected at those centers, like MIHS, can offer benefits to the research community, as this covers a more diverse population of human biospecimens.
MIHS is Arizona’s only public teaching hospital and consists of Maricopa Medical Center, McDowell Healthcare Center, the Refugee Women’s Health Clinic, the Arizona Children’s Center, two behavioral health centers and 13 family health centers.