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European Pharmaceutical Contractor

The Lifecycle of a Sample

Research samples are invaluable scientific assets that support the foundation of new drug discovery and development. Studies suggest that standardised management of these materials can contribute to budget savings, cost avoidance and clinical trial efficiencies that could reduce drug development timelines. However, many organisations still employ a siloed approach where samples are scattered between multiple laboratories and testing facilities based on specific initiatives. This model presents numerous bottlenecks, such as delays in finding biological materials, extended distribution times and additional expenditure due to the lack of economies of scale. By taking a holistic approach to comprehensive sample management – in which every stage of the lifecycle is considered – a firm can maximise their inventories.

Establishing biospecimen collections to support clinical trials and future research requires strategic planning. Key elements in the process include providing sufficient funds to create and sustain the collection; adequate facilities and equipment to ensure they are secure; experienced staff, preservation and logistics management of biospecimens and their associated data; plus curation of all data parameters that will be needed to select specimens for use.

Financial resources are essential to create a quality biospecimen collection and to preserve it for future use. Budget planners must consider supporting all institutions involved in the collection, processing, analysis and storage of the samples during the active phases of the trial and after the primary study has ended. Centralising processing and repository activities can drastically reduce the cost of a trial by decreasing the number of institutions in which infrastructure must be maintained, and minimising transportion costs required by sites having to send samples to multiple labs.

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As the Head of Global Operations for BioStorage Technologies, a Brooks Life Science Systems Company, Katheryn Shea is responsible for all operational aspects of the business across Asia, Europe and the US. She also provides technical leadership for specimen management, processing, storage and distribution activities and is instrumental in the development of business alliances and collaborations. Katheryn received her Bachelor of Science in Biology from St Mary’s College in Maryland, US, and is a well-published author on biological sample management best practices and regulations.
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Katheryn Shea
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