The IBBL (Integrated BioBank of Luxembourg) Institute is a biobank dedicated to supporting biomedical research for the benefit of patients.
Our story begins in 2008, when the Luxembourg government launched the “Health Sciences and Technologies Action Plan”, a commitment to the creation of a center of excellence in biomedical research and development in Luxembourg. Supported by the Ministry of Research, the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Economy, we opened our doors two years later, next to the Centre Hospitalier de Luxembourg.
Over the years, IBBL has progressively grown into an established player in the Luxembourgish scientific landscape and, in 2017, the biobank moved to a new permanent building in Dudelange.
As a biobank, we represent a bridge between science and medicine by working closely with hospitals and clinicians on one hand and researchers on the other. We collect, process, test and store biological samples, including blood, urine, tissue, saliva and stool, from volunteers, both patients and healthy individuals, with their consent. In addition we collect medical data related to the samples, such as age, gender or diagnosis. All identifying information is removed from the samples and data, so everything is completely pseudonymised. The samples and data are then made available to research organisations. Scientists need them to study the causes and effects of human diseases and develop better prevention measures, better diagnostic tests and better therapies. To find out how it works, watch our video:
More than a traditional biobank
In many ways IBBL is more than a traditional biobank, which is where the name Integrated BioBank of Luxembourg comes from. In addition to the traditional sample collection and storage, we have integrated a range of different activities to support medical research, including advanced analysis technologies and our own internal biospecimen research.
The later allows us to optimise the way in which biological samples are collected and processed to ensure that they are of high quality and suitable for the research they are intended for. Our commitment to quality and research has attracted the attention of several prestigious international organisations such as the US National Cancer Institute, the European Organisation for Research and Treatment of Cancer, the European Consortium SPIDIA for Parkinson’s Disease, the EU Joint Programme on Neurodegenerative Diseases and the Breast International Group, all of which we now count among our partners.
Collaboration with both national and international partners
Beyond providing biological samples and data, our mission is to foster scientific excellence and build partnerships with both national and international partners. Ultimately, this will allow us to accelerate the use of personalised healthcare for the benefit of the people of Luxembourg. To accomplish this aim, we have identified a series of goals:
- To establish all of the necessary core activities for biobanking in Luxembourg;
- To enhance the technological services available to the research community;
- To support the priority research programmes in the personalised medicine initiative in Luxembourg (cancer, diabetes, Parkinson’s disease, general population, microbiome) and carry out biospecimen research;
- To seek partnership opportunities in all areas of our priority research programmes.
By the end of 2017, we had collected over 429,000 biological samples. Some of these we store for our international partners, but many of them are derived from participants in Luxembourg and the Greater Region, who have put their trust in us and donated their samples for research.
All our samples and data are collected, secured and redistributed to the highest ethical and data protection standards, in accordance with the National Research Ethics Committee and the National Commission for Data Protection. Every donor has the right to withdraw their consent at any time, in which case all of the unused samples will be destroyed and related data deleted.
For more detailed information about IBBL, visit our corporate site: www.ibbl.lu