Feb 20, 2024

Our Thesis on Biobanking

We foresee a future in biobanking with emerging types of biological data and seamless sample management and exchange, all enhanced by a robust security and authenticity layer.

Sandra Pérez Baos

At 2048 Ventures, we are obsessed with the future and invest in the earliest-stage companies that establish defensibility through data and technology.

Lately we have been focused on the future of biobanks and the key interplay between data and technology in this space. We are in the early innings of the century of biology, where human biospecimens play an increasingly central role in biomedical progress, from research and clinical care to the personal banking of cells for fertility and regenerative medicine purposes.

Biobank management solutions are centralized platforms to streamline biorepository operations and manage biospecimens and their associated data.

We envision an opportunity for a next-generation operating system tailored for biorepositories designed to:

  • Support emerging types of biological information
  • Ensure easy sample tracking and browsing
  • Guarantee security and authenticity

We then see a prospect for a network or a marketplace that will dismantle data silos and enable faster exchange and access among biobanks. This will open a path to supercharge collaboration, research, transparency, and ultimately accelerate drug discovery and healthcare at large.

Biobank infrastructure companies we want to meet

Traditional software providers have a significant presence in the market, but they often fall short in their offerings. We believe there is room for new software infrastructure to accelerate the value of biobanks:

  • Solutions embracing the current shift towards data-centric approaches, capable of capturing both existing and emerging types of biological information, along with updated LIMS capabilities featuring a fresh, inexpensive, and user-friendly interface.
  • Tools that seamlessly integrate with advanced analytics and AI/ML, enabling the extraction of actionable insights from vast amounts of data.
  • Infrastructure for securely de-identifying patient data and aiding biobanks in navigating ethical and regulatory considerations.
  • A marketplace facilitating smooth and secure exchange of specimens and associated data, harmonizing information across biobanks, optimizing sharing, and customizing information to meet the end user needs.

Biobank Pain Points

The existing tools seem limited in their capabilities, and can become cumbersome and inadequate as biorepositories scale and store more samples, more data and new types of data. There is an opportunity for ease, cost-effective and tailored solutions that fit each specific use case.

As biobanks are often designed independently of each other, the space is very fragmented. Navigating this landscape in order to procure samples can be a daunting and a time-consuming task for researchers. This not only hinders innovation, but also leads to the under-utilization of samples. Biobanks can only be sustainable in the long run if they are able to recover some of their operating costs by sharing their specimens. There is an opportunity for a marketplace or “universal digital one-stop shop” for biospecimen procurement.

Customer archetypes

We understand there to be two major customer profiles.

1) Not-for-profit biobanks: The majority of biobanks (95%) operate on a not-for-profit basis, often as part of larger organizations such as academic and research institutions or hospitals.

2) Commercial players: including fertility clinics, private cord blood centers, or contract research organizations, the latter supporting academic and biopharmaceutical research.

Looking into the Future of Biobanking

We believe the future of biobanking is one that embraces emerging types of biological information and ensures easy sample management, exchange and traceability, all underpinned by a robust security layer. This will ultimately boost exchange and collaboration, leading to a new era in biospecimen-based research.

If you are a founder working on biobanking software, egg, sperm, or stem cell banking, we'd love to connect:

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