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Denmark launches world-class biobank

Denmark is at the very front when it comes to epidemiological research. The opening of a National Biobank highlights this position and marks a public-private collaboration that is unique on an international scale

A new Danish National Biobank will store millions of frozen biological samples from all Danes. By combining these data with other national registries of medication use, diagnoses and family relationships, researchers will have an unprecedented opportunity to examine the causal relations between diseases and treatments.

“The idea is to provide easy access to the many biological samples we have today and will get in the future,” says Professor Mads Melbye, the director of the Division of Epidemiology at the State Serum Institute (SSI). “We expect that the biobank will be a goldmine for Danish research and will be the foundation for many important discoveries in the future,” he adds.

More than 15 million biosamples

Denmark is at the very front when it comes to epidemiological research. This is to a large extent thanks to the unique Danish registries which provide detailed information on the entire population. Denmark is the only country in the world with registries that include everyone living in the country, making it possible to access, among other things, their medical history from cradle to grave.

Equipped with the most advanced robotic technology on the market, the Danish National Biobank will make more than 15 million biosamples available to researchers over the coming years, making it possible to map the entire country and its diseases.

Online access to biosamples

The Danish National Biobank consists of a biobank building of more than 3,000 m2 for storing and retrieval of biological samples. Moreover, the biobank consists of a national biobank register containing information on samples available in large Danish biobanks, including tissue samples from Danish hospitals. Scientists will be able to gain online access to this register.

The cost of establishing the Danish National Biobank amounts to a total of DKK 179 million, financed largely by funds from the Novo Nordisk Foundation. Other important contributions have come from the Danish Government Programme for Research Infrastructure and from the Lundbeck Foundation.

Read more on the website of the Danish National Institute for Health Data and Disease Control

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