iSpecimen Inc., a global online marketplace that connects scientists in need of biospecimens for medical research with healthcare organizations that can provide them, just announced that the Company gave three presentations at this year’s International Society for Biological and Environmental Repositories (ISBER) Annual Meeting in Atlanta, Ga.
Jill Mullan, iSpecimen’s Chief Operating Officer, gave an oral presentation on an accepted abstract titled, “Biospecimen Matchmaking: The Data-Driven Journey from Internal Spreadsheets to Online Inventories to Just-in-Time Biobanking.” The presentation focused on how, after two decades, biobanks are now at a crossroads, as precision medicine requires more customized biospecimen collections with complex patient inclusion criteria that often cannot be fulfilled through existing inventories.
iSpecimen analyzed researcher request data, including five years of specimen search data from its proprietary iSpecimen Marketplace platform, to provide insights into how precision medicine is driving the need for “just-in-time” biospecimen collections. iSpecimen used this data to propose requirements for a next-generation biobanking solution that incorporates an online platform using biobanking inventory data, along with in-depth healthcare datasets, to:
- Connect biorepositories to a global network of researchers who need specimens and data
- Enable efficient specimen and patient inventory matchmaking across a federated provider network
- Automate inventory-based and just-in-time biobanking workflows from inquiry to invoice
- Provide data-driven insights using AI to help align inventory management and market demand
Key findings and conclusions from iSpecimen’s analysis included:
- Many researchers anticipate that the biospecimens they source to advance their work will come from both banked inventories and custom collections in 2022.
- The best biobank is an active, empty one, rather than a repository with specimens collected from years ago that are never used.
- To get there, biorepository managers need to consider solutions that include advanced matchmaking and easy search functionality to make existing inventories more accessible, along with just-in-time biobanking approaches to accommodate prospective collections as needed.
- When it comes to sourcing biospecimens, researchers’ preferred approach is using an online platform / marketplace.
- A key to creating an effective bio procurement solution is the coupling of in-depth healthcare datasets and researcher demand data with AI and analysis tools to bring efficiencies to the biospecimen procurement process, all while helping to drive smarter biobanking inventory strategies.
“Traditionally, biobanking involved an inventory-based approach whereby internal researchers leveraged biospecimen samples stored and collected over time, with simple patient inclusion criteria and limited datasets,” said Ms. Mullan. “However, today, that approach only provides part of the solution because of the advent and rise of precision medicine. In a world where custom research requests come in constantly and new therapies are developed for patients more frequently, what may have been collected and stored years ago may not be relevant for researchers now.”
Ms. Mullan continued, “With the just-in-time approach, the entire world can be a researcher’s biobank, thanks to big data and technologies like AI. Rather than taking and storing point-in-time samples, biobanks should be based off access to patient populations, enabling them to obtain samples in real-time. This allows the process to become more fluid and helpful for researchers. The bottom line is that biobanks need to become more than just repositories for specimens; they are conduits for just-in-time specimen collections from their patient population inventory. iSpecimen’s Marketplace is the solution, as it offers intuitive multi-site search functionality for both banked and prospective specimens and accessible patient details, all in one place for researchers.”
In addition to Ms. Mullan’s oral presentation, Dr. Christopher Ianelli, M.D., Ph.D., iSpecimen’s Founder and CEO, gave a presentation during the plenary session titled, “From Ideation to IPO: One Company’s Journey to Commercialize a Biospecimen Solution.” The third presentation came from Dr. Ianelli and Emily Hubbard, iSpecimen’s Vice President, Site Development, titled, “An Innovation Solution for Just-in-Time Biobanking,” which included an interactive demo of iSpecimen’s new, enhanced Marketplace platform.