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Fostering North American biobanking connections
LAVAL, Quebec—Trans-Hit Bio (THB) has said they are pleased to report the signing of an exclusive partnership with Professor Hugo A. Barrera-Saldaña, founder and general director of Vitagenesis, the first Mexican biomarker-based diagnostic laboratory. Barrera, through a lifetime of leadership in biomedical translational research, has in recent years been concentrating in the promotion of biobanking in top medical research institutions in Mexico.
Through this exclusive agreement THB, a leading biospecimen procurement CRO, aims to provide the Mexican Academic Community of Biobanks — in particular those specialized in Infectious Diseases and Oncology — with the operational framework support needed to promote their deserved international visibility.
Barrera said regarding the agreement, “After I started the National Biobank Laboratory in Mexico and introduced good biobanking practices in the associated institutions, two main challenges still remain to be solved: becoming sustainable and gaining recognition from international pharma and diagnostic companies as reliable and expert sources of high quality biospecimens to support their biomarker R&D programs. This is why not only are we very honoured that THB has signed this partnership agreement, but we are also convinced that THB’s expertise and reputation will definitely help put the Mexican biobank community on the map.”
Barrera’s efforts in developing Biobank capabilities in Mexico started with the creation of an Institutional Biobank Laboratory, which has supported several local research protocols with over 6,000 sampled biospecimens stored. Barrera transformed this success into a Nationwide initiative, and was key in the establishment of the National Biobank Laboratory (LANBIOBAN).
“Prof. Barrera and his collaborators are not only leaders and very knowledgeable in biobanking but have also championed in biomedical translational research. This partnership strengthens THB’s presence internationally and is a valuable addition to our existing worldwide network of partnered academic biobanks,” noted Dr. Pascal Puchois, Chief Executive Officer at THB. “It constitutes for us an important first step in our expansion in Latin America, whose great biobanking capabilities to date have been underestimated and underutilized by Industry even though pathology labs, clinical sites and CRO laboratory platforms provide an excellent scientific expertise, high quality standards and compliance with regulatory and ethical requirements.”
Barrera has also been crucial in helping other Mexican clinical sites in becoming ready to support international biomarker research. Successful outcomes of this partnership have already been seen in current collaborations with Mexican institutions such as ONCARE, LABOPAT and National Nutrition Institute (INCMNSZ).