UK national kidney biobank to help advance research into "silent killer"

LONDON, Jun 14 (Xinhua) -- The first ever national kidney biobank in Britain aimed at helping researchers explore treatments for kidney diseases was announced Wednesday.

A five-year program will see biological samples from 3,000 patients with chronic kidney disease and up to 800 patients with nephrotic syndrome, collected and stored in a new biobank. It will provide a strategic resource for fundamental research.

Moderate to severe chronic kidney disease, known as the "silent killer" is thought to affect around three million people in Britain. It often has no symptoms, with up to one million people unaware they have the condition.

In addition to the samples of plasma, serum, urine, DNA and tissue that will be stored, the repository will also have a considerable advantage of containing associated linked clinical data, through the UK Renal Registry.

The samples will be obtained through 13 NHS Trusts across England, Scotland and Wales, with patients followed up at specific intervals.

From mid-2018, all researchers will be able to apply for access to samples stored in the biobank for future studies.

Experts from the universities of Bristol and Nottingham will form the core academic team overseeing the operational delivery of the biobank.

Meanwhile, tissue analysis will take place at the University of Birmingham, while biomarker analysis will take place at the University of Geneva. The program has been named NURTuRE (the National Unified Renal Translational Research Enterprise).

Dr Jane Steele, Director of the Advanced Therapies Facility at the University of Birmingham, said: "We are very proud to be part of a collaboration of world-leading UK and European experts working together with pharmaceutical industry partners and the UK Renal Registry to deliver this high quality resource for renal research.

"This resource opens up a wealth of new opportunities for researchers and industry to accelerate new advances that will benefit kidney patients and their treatment and care.

"The data contained within the NURTuRE biobank has the potential to unlock answers to some of the biggest questions about kidney diseases."

Elaine Davies from Kidney Research UK said: "The cross analysis of biological samples alongside clinical data will enable us to develop new biomarkers. This will lead to a greater ability to identify patients who will benefit from better, earlier diagnosis and person-specific new treatments, leading to better health outcomes."

[ Editor: Wang Peiyao ]


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