This news piece was published in BBMRI-ERIC newsletter https://www.bbmri-eric.eu/news-events/ibg-biobank-a-bbmri-tr-partner-established-a-covid-19-cohort/

IBG-Biobank, the Biobank and Biomolecular Resources Platform of Izmir Biomedicine and Genome Center (IBG), in partnership with Dokuz Eylul University Hospital (DEUH) and Izmir Tınaztepe Health Group Hospitals has set up a bio-cohort of Covid-19 patients and controls.

Establishment of the cohorts has made IBG-Biobank a centralized resource which transfers, processes, stores, and disseminates the biological specimens and clinical data for the vaccine and drug development studies supported by the Scientific and Technological Research Council of Turkey (TUBITAK), as well as Covid-19 diagnostic kit development projects and research projects designed to understand the mechanisms of disease severity.

As we all witnessed, rapid establishment of these valuable and non-renewable resources has been critical for improving the understanding and management of this life-threatening disease. In the beginning of pandemic; the informative and comprehensive web-conferences -such as the one organized by BBMRI-ERIC Quality Management Team on “Biobanking in times of Covid-19”- have accelerated the start-up process of the cohort; especially in terms of the adaptation of the patient consent forms, the follow-up forms for transferring, collecting, processing and storing the biological samples, as well as the standard operating procedures based on Covid-19 CDC & WHO guidelines. Thanks to the Scientific and Technological Research Council of Turkey (TUBITAK), that started up a Covid-19 fellowship scheme, young researchers could be trained and contribute to the labor-intensive Covid-19 biobanking process.

IBG-Biobank started to collect the COVID-19 biological samples in June. So far; the biological samples of a total of 5136 patients with different disease severity and controls have been archived. Bio-specimen included nasopharyngeal or oropharyngeal swab samples (inactivated samples), serum/plasma, and whole blood.

It has been clear that in the situations like a global pandemia; individual and/or regional solutions are not sufficient, and global health crisises can only be overcomed by scientific awareness, cooperation and coordination. BBMRI-ERIC has made extraordinary efforts to achieve these cooperation and collaborations. As IBG-Biobank and BBMRI.tr partner, we would like to thank everyone involved in BBMRI-ERIC directory, QM-team and communication office for all their comprehensive support and guidance.

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