Directory registration now a condition of REC favourable opinion
The UK Ethics Committee Authority (UKECA) have now made registration in the UKCRC Tissue Directory a condition of the Research Ethics Committee (REC) favorable opinion for research tissue banks (RTB).
The Research Ethics Committee favour collection of tissue for future research use by research tissue banks, however, there is an expectation that this tissue is made visible to the research community. The UKECA are keen to maximise the re-use of samples and so will now expect Research Tissue Banks to register their collections on the UKCRC Tissue Directory. Registration will also be a condition of the five-year renewal of the ethical opinion.
The HRA are also encouraging all individuals to register their resource as soon as possible.
Why have these changes been made?
The Health Research Authority protects and promotes the interests of patients and the public in health and social care research. So making registration a condition of favourable opinion is consistent with that aim, as it promotes the interests of patients in research by ensuring that data and information is shared for maximum research impact.
The benefits of making these tissue collections visible are that researchers from outside local networks will be able to find samples they may need and therefore reducing duplicate collections.
How does this affect Tissue banks?
In the long term, it is hoped that the policy changes will lead to increased collaboration in the UK. UKCRC TDCC Director, Dr Phil Quinlan said, ‘We hope this will lead to better coordination between biobanks ensuring more samples are contributing directly to medical progress.’
Find out more about the Health Research Authority.