Looking Beyond The Horizon

Innovative Technologies & Services

Dermacia’s body bank – what are the prospects?

Posted by evolvingwheel on June 11, 2007

Dermacia, a Claifornia based skin-care product manufacturer, has embarked on an optimistic project of building a human-tissue bank. The ‘BioTrust‘, a $76 million joint venture between Dermacia and Univ. of Iowa, plans to collect human tissue samples with the donor’s consent and create a huge database of body cells tagged with personal information of the donor – and could also incorporate medical histories of individuals for a better characterization of the collected tissue.

BioTrust will sell tissue samples for research activities and will provide a more normalized information regarding the classification of the cells based on physical attributes tied to the samples. While collecting samples, the donors will be able to identify the kind of researches they would like to participate in the future. An online application will also allow the donor to update any medical information during the life trajectory, which might make the sample worthy for some new pathbreaking researches for drugs or medical inventions.

I was just thinking about more futuristic implication of such a tissue repository. How will this business survive? What are the key goals of this project? Will this be only limited to long-term research or something else down the road? What is the profit-revenue model for such a business based on the demands in todays and possibly tomorrow’s industry?

Several questions! However, this concept of storing human samples with highly organized data attached to them could be a whole new area of research. I feel that this will just work in tandem with stem cell research. May be someday, family members would like to develop organs and rebuild damaged tissues with the same DNA attributes coming through its own generations. Or could they just ask for a better liver or a better kidney? 10-15 years down the road, this storage may provide the ultimate key to regenerative organ study. Furthermore, if the donor updates his/her data with continued health information, the prospect for research and new drug development is astronomical.

[Read Article]

Picture: Courtesy Pop Sci


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