In Poland storage of human biological samples takes place at most universities and scientific institutions conducting research projects in the field of biomedicine. The First International Biobanking Conference organized by the Ministry of Science and Higher Education in 2014 shed a light on the situation of Polish biobanking infrastructures. The country has around 40 large biorepositories, which store unique biological material such as whole brains, muscle fibers from patients with rare diseases, as well as thousands of samples from patients with lifestyle diseases. There are only two population-based biobanks working locally and several disease-oriented biobanks specializing mainly in oncological diseases. Consortium BBMRI.pl created plans for establishing a Polish Network of Biobanks, with national node which meets standards for biobanks and cooperation to guarantee development of biomedical sciences and international collaboration between Poland and other countries. The Polish network will enhance research activities, due to better visibility of samples and data that are stored in the national biobanking catalogue. However, it requires more than a comprehensive understanding of all benefits. The list of examples of benefits can be presented as follows: (i) a reduction of the duration and cost of clinical trials and subsequent time to market for anticancer drugs; (ii) more precise patient diagnosis and the associated impact on treatment and lower healthcare costs for providers, individuals, and the nation; (iii) improvements in research experiment time frames and data efficiencies; (iv) convergence to an industry standards for biospecimen quality; (v) optimization of capital infrastructure and IT technology.
Keywords: BBMRI-ERIC; BBMRI.pl; Biobank network; Poland; biobanking.