SPIDIA4P: Another success for IBBL in the EU’s H2020 Programme

IBBL has joined the ranks of 18 European scientists and industry stakeholders in SPIDIA for Personalised Medicine (SPIDIA4P), a support and coordination action funded by the European Commission under the Horizon 2020 programme. The consortium promises to drive the standardisation of pre-analytics in an effort to improve disease diagnosis, prognosis and patient stratification.

Selected by the European Commission for funding, the SPIDIA4P consortium has been empowered to initiate and lead the standardisation of several selected high priority pre-analytical  procedures  for  the   preparation and the quality control of patients’ biological samples, removed for a diagnostic purpose during a surgery and other clinical routine practices. The plan is to develop a comprehensive portfolio of European (CEN) and international (ISO) standard documents that cover every single step of the entire workflow before analysis: from the documentation of the relevant patients’ information to the sample collection, transport, processing and storage.

IBBL is one of the few biobanks that carries out research on biospecimen science and develops in-house quality control assays ensuring that biological samples are suitable for their intended downstream purposes. “Standardised procedures reduce the incidence of irreproducible pre-clinical and clinical research results, and in this particular case of diagnostic mistakes. It is a great honour to bring our expertise to another European H2020 consortium of such a large scale”, comments Fay Betsou, Chief Scientific Officer.

Specifically, IBBL is in charge of the development of the External Quality Assurance (EQA) schemes accompanying the procedures. These will be designed to assess the efficiency of the processing methods and verify the quality of the samples. IBBL has years of experience in the field with its existing EQA programme. Endorsed by ISBER (International Society and Environmental Repositories), IBBL’s Biospecimen Proficiency Testing Programme has worked as an external quality assessment tool that benchmarks the processing and testing methods of biobanks and research laboratories worldwide since 2012.

At a time when Europe is paving the way towards personalised medicine, the SPIDIA4P consortium holds great promises to unleash its potentials for the benefit of European citizens, industry and healthcare systems.SPIDIA4P is receiving funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 733112.

Photograph credits: @Qiagen