International cooperative networks
In order to optimise and coordinate the work of biobanks and the products and services offered by them, it is necessary to set cooperative networks at a national and international level. These networks aim at the definition of common action standards in order to promote national and international collaborations between biobanks and research groups, and also to avoid the duplication of efforts.
The HIV HGM BioBank staff actively participate in many projects and international cooperative structures, namely:
- Paediatric European Network for Treatment of AIDS (PENTA): The HIV HGM BioBank scientific management is member of the PENTA scientific committee of immunology/virology. The main goal of this network is the development of research and clinical trials that allow to examine paediatric questions about HIV treatments which cannot be adequately approached in adult-focused studies. The European Commission has been funding PENTA’s activities of coordination and research for 16 years now, through the BIOMED1 and BIOMED 2 projects. Framework Programmes 5, 6, and 7 are funded by the European Union. The HIV HGM BioBank participates very actively in the aforementioned activities; as an example, it has been involved in clinical trials such as PENTA 1, PENTA 3, PENTA 5, PENTA 8, PENTA 9, PENTA 13, PENTA 15, PENTA 16 and PENTA 18.
- CYTED:(Ibero-American Programme for the Development of Science and Technology). The CYTED programme was created in 1984, and its main goal is to contribute to the harmonious development of the Latin American region by establishing mechanisms for cooperation between research groups from Universities, R&D Centres and innovative companies in member countries, with the aim of achieving scientific and technological results that are transferable to productive systems and social policies. The CYTED Program has been involved in the creation of 284 thematic networks, 197 coordination actions, 6 research projects from consortiums, 3 transfers of technology to the business sector and 695 certified IBEROEKA innovation projects so far, in which more than 8,400 research groups and 28,200 Ibero-American scientists and technologists have participated. Since 2014, our BioBank has cooperated with Argentina, Chile, Mexico, Peru and Portugal in project 214RT0482 (Development of an HIV vaccine: Study of the changes in the biology of human dendrites after interacting with HIV peptides release systems).
- International Society for Biological and Environmental Repositories (ISBER): It creates opportunities for exchanging ideas at an international level and adapting approaches to new challenges in biobanking.
- Biobanking and Biomolecular Resources Research Infrastructure (BBMRI): It is an international platform integrated by biobanks from all over the world and other organisms related to bioresources. This platform breaks down into different working groups with concrete themes and goals. HIV HGM BioBank staff has participated in the working group to create a Bioresource Impact Factor/Framework (BRIF), whose aim is to create a quantitative parameter that allows for the objective evaluation of biobanks at an international level. In order to do so, we are working in defining the so-called “Bioresources Impact Factor” by taking into account the quantitative use of samples and associated data, their quality and the relevance of the studies carried out with them.
- DNA Quantity and Quality Control (Q2C) project: It is an international project coordinated by the UK DNA banking network (UDBN) in cooperation with Public Population Projects in Genomics (P3G). It aims at reconciling and unifying the quantification of DNA. HIV HGM BioBank took part in this project by providing several DNA samples.
- EVA Programme (European Vaccine Against AIDS) – Centre for AIDS Reagents (CFAR): It is a European programme which aims at discovering and developing vaccines and other preventive strategies against HIV/AIDS.
- European, Middle Eastern & African Society for Biopreservation and BioBanking (ESBB) Chapter Interest Group: It is an open working group whose main goal is to identify and solve problems in biobanking and to promote the standardisation of the working procedures of biobanks. The HIV HGM BioBank staff actively participate in their debates and have attended their annual meetings since its creation.