Monash launches flagship biological storage facility: Biobanking Victoria

Monash University has officially launched Australia’s first industry-focused storage facility for biological material to support medical research and commercialisation opportunities.

Biobanking Victoria is a state-of-the-art facility that provides a valuable link between researchers and industry, generously supported by the Victorian Government.

Led by Monash University in partnership with international leader Infinity BiologiX (IBX, USA), the flagship facility is also the first in Australia and one of few in the world to be accredited by the National Association of Testing Authorities (NATA).

Located within the Monash Health Translational Precinct in Clayton, Biobanking Victoria operates at international standards and provides a complete end-to-end solution for any clinical trial or research project that involves biological material. The facility also has a flexible, modular model of operation and is able to take on components of the management of specimen collection, handling, storage and analysis to support precision medicine, genomics, translational research and commercialisation opportunities.

Attracting commercial clinical trials and helping to boost the Victorian economy, Biobanking Victoria was opened in 2020 and is already supporting six clinical trials, caring for more than 4.5 million biological specimens currently in storage. Tens of thousands of biological specimens now arrive at Biobanking Victoria annually from Australian and international destinations and similar volumes are dispatched across the globe to support research and clinical trials.

The biobank is already home to some of Australia’s largest and most mature epidemiological studies such as The Cancer Council Victoria’s Melbourne Collaborative Cohort Study; The Australian Breakthrough Cancer Study and The Breast Cancer Family Registry (NIH, USA) and many new collections including the Victorian Heart Institute Biobank (Monash University).

Director of Biobanking Victoria and Chair of Precision Medicine at Monash University,

Professor Melissa Southey, says this flagship facility is well-placed to meet the rise of precision medicine and the steep growth in the need for coordinated global biobanking.

“Biobanking Victoria is the culmination of years of hard work by a highly dedicated team. We are in a remarkable position to offer custom infrastructure and are proud to be a critical element of impactful research and clinical trials,” said Professor Southey.

Monash University President and Vice-Chancellor Professor Margaret Gardner AC says Biobanking Victoria is a world-class facility helping to improve medical care.

“Biobanking Victoria is transforming the way researchers translate discoveries into practice and is an outstanding reflection of Monash University’s commitment to tackling global health challenges,” Professor Gardner said.

Speaking on the newly accredited facilities, Jennifer Evans, CEO of the National Association of Testing Authorities said: “Biobanking is a leap forward in the support of research and development, underpinning the integrity of biological materials used in this vital work. Biobanking Victoria at Monash University is really at the forefront both domestically and globally and represents the first accredited facility in Australia. Accreditation provides assurance that international standards of best practice are being maintained every day. We look forward to its continued success and growth for biobanking in Australia.”

 

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