Human biosamples ethics

Human biosamples

Human biosamples are biological samples derived from humans, such as tissue and blood. When patients undergo procedures e.g. biopsy or surgery in which samples are removed for diagnostic or treatment purposes, it is often possible for a small amount of the sample to be used in biomedical research. Over many years, many patients have given consent for their biosamples to be used in research, in the hope that the resulting knowledge might help other patients in the future.

Modern science is at a very exciting moment. Scientists are now studying diseases at the most basic “molecular” or “biochemical” levels, by identifying genes and their function, and understanding the role special molecules play in the origin and progression of disease. These emerging fields of study are thought to be keys for finding new means of preventing, diagnosing or treating diseases.

Human biosamples can provide a bridge between laboratory research and clinical information about actual patients. It does this by enabling researchers to study the characteristics of a disease in the laboratory, and to link those with what is known about the clinical behaviour of the disease.
 

Novo Nordisk’s use of human biosamples in research

Biosamples, (e.g. tissue and blood samples) from patients and other volunteers can play a vital part in research that seeks to find new means of preventing, diagnosing or treating diseases. Novo Nordisk uses human biosamples during its research to discover new treatments for the diseases we focus on. We also use human biosamples to do tests during our clinical trials of potentially new biological medicines, to study their effect and how patients respond.

 

Global head of Biobanking

"Patients and other volunteers who want to contribute to research by donating biosamples need to be confident that samples will be collected, stored and used ethically, and that their donation will be used for the good of research."

Brian J Clark, Director, Global Head of Biobanking

Patients and other volunteers who want to contribute to research by donating biosamples need to be confident that samples will be collected, stored and used ethically, and that their donation will be used for the good of research. Novo Nordisk aims to give people who donate biosamples that are used in our research the confidence that their donation will make a difference and that they will be making a personal contribution to the fight against diabetes, haemophilia and autoimmune inflammatory diseases.

Novo Nordisk continually reviews and develops its policies that underpin the ethics and governance arrangements for the use of human biosamples.

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Human biosamples in pharmaceutical research

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