India has 16 bio-repositories for collecting, storing and maintaining clinical samples of COVID-19 patients and these bio banks would be instrumental in the development of vaccine and treatment.
The Indian Council of Medical Research has notified these bio-repositories as the specimens collected from coronavirus patients can be valuable source for research. NITI Aayog has recently issued guidelines for sharing of bio specimens and data for research related to COVID-19.
These bio banks will develop a uniform Standard Operating Procedures (SoPs) for sample collection, transportation, aliquoting, storage, and sharing. The Department of Biotechnology would extend support to these Bio-banks facilities.
The Bio banks will also share samples with academia, industry and commercial entities involved in development of diagnostics, therapeutics and vaccines. The Ministry of Science said that sharing of biospecimens both Clinical and Viral is going to be key for new technology and product development by our researchers, start-ups and industry, a critical step in our journey towards becoming an Atmanirbhar Bharat.