First biobank opens in Finland

Samples from the Finnish Hematology Register and Biobank can speed up research for new treatments and diagnoses for blood diseases.

The biobank plans to expand nationally and cover all blood diseases in the coming years. Kimmo Porkka, professor of clinical hematology at the University of Helsinki and Head of the Hematology Division at the Helsinki University Central Hospital, hopes that the availability of the samples in the biobank will speed up the development of new treatments and diagnoses. For example, leukemia research has been held back by the lack of samples.

According to Porkka, the objective is precise and personalised treatment for blood disease patients. He talks about a “machine for personalised care” that could find the right medicines for each patient by testing a wide range of possible alternatives.

The Finnish parliament is currently in the second round of preparing legislation on biobanks.

Sources: Helsingin Sanomat, FHRB