EU-funded Consortium selects IBBL for a Joint Programme in Neurodegenerative Disease Research

IBBL (Integrated BioBank of Luxembourg) was recently chosen as the sole European biobank to host a large collection of biological specimens and data collected as part of the BIOMARKAPD project of the EU Joint Programme in Neurodegenerative Disease Research (JPND). 

The Joint Programme for Neurodegenerative Disease (JPND) Research is a European Union (EU) member state-led initiative to tackle one of the ‘grand challenges’ facing society in the coming years, that of neurodegenerative diseases (ND) such as Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s disease. The programme brings together research agencies, ministries and centres of excellence from 25 European countries. It is the largest global initiative focussed on ND.

One major aim of the programme is to improve the scientific understanding of ND by promoting research to uncover new genetic and environmental risk factors and assess their interplay. This requires Europe-wide population-based studies, biobanking of DNA and human tissues, and data sharing. To create an enabling environment for ND research, there is a need to encourage integration and harmonisation of data and materials, and promote an open-access approach to their use. IBBL has been chosen as the sole European biobank to provide the infrastructure necessary for hosting a centralised collection of samples and data as part of the BIOMARKAPD project of JPND. Samples from 25 EU sites will be stored at IBBL and made available to the 55 individual members of the consortium or other scientists. First samples are expected to arrive at IBBL in June 2013.

Besides taking care of the physical storage of biological samples, IBBL will also provide a web-based IT platform for the 25 collection sites to capture all data related to the samples sent to IBBL, and for the entire consortium to access the collection. A third element will be to participate in biospecimen research on brain fluid samples collected by the consortium.

“This is an exciting new avenue where IBBL provides a service to JPND as part of a research collaboration project at the European level,” explains Catherine Larue, CEO of IBBL, and points out: “It reinforces the credibility of IBBL as a research support infrastructure for multinational projects, which is very satisfying given that IBBL has been operational for less than three years.”

For more information on JPND, visit http://www.neurodegenerationresearch.eu