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Proficiency Testing Programme in China Yields Positive Results

In the wake of the success of IBBL’s international Proficiency Testing (PT) programme, a new PT programme entirely dedicated to Chinese biobanks was launched in July 2018, in an agreement between IBBL, the International Society for Biological and Environmental Repositories (ISBER) and the Biobank Branch, China Medicinal Biotech Association (BBCMBA). The one-year pilot programme offered two testing schemes: ‘DNA quantification and purity’ and ‘RNA quantification and purity’. About 30 participants enrolled for each scheme.

The assigned values obtained by the Chinese institutions for both the ‘DNA quantification and purity’ and ‘the RNA quantification and purity’ schemes were found to be almost identical to those obtained by the rest of the international participants.

“These results demonstrate that the performance of the biospecimen testing methods of Chinese biobanks and testing laboratories is in line with that of our international colleagues, and that the measurements obtained by Chinese institutions can therefore be considered trustworthy and of high quality”, states Prof Gao, President of BBCMBA. “This will further contribute to enhancing data exchanges between China and international laboratories, thus strengthening cooperation and supporting the development of global health”, he adds.

“We are very pleased with the outcome of the pilot, since it marks a step forward in terms of biospecimen quality and standardisation of biobanking practices worldwide”, declares Dr. Fay Betsou, Chief Scientific Officer at IBBL. “This is particularly relevant when considering that participation in PT programmes is a requirement for biobanks seeking accreditation according to the new ISO 20387 norm”, she adds.

“ISBER is committed to supporting biorepositories globally, and the PT programme in China has proved to be a valuable tool in this respect. The interest and participation of the Chinese biobanking community in the pilot have been very promising and we sincerely hope to witness an increased adherence of Chinese organisations to the programme in the coming years”, says Dr Xun Xu, ISBER Director at Large for China.

As the sole ISBER-endorsed PT programme in the world that focuses on biospecimens, IBBL’s processing and testing schemes have become increasingly popular over the years. In 2018, 115 participants from 31 countries registered for a total of 492 subscribed processing and testing schemes.

For more information, please visit the dedicated IBBL PT webpage.

About IBBL
IBBL (Integrated BioBank of Luxembourg) is an autonomous not-for-profit institute dedicated to supporting biomedical research for the benefit of patients. IBBL is an integrated research infrastructure offering bioservices, including the collection, processing, analysis and storage of biological samples and associated data. In addition, IBBL carries out research to optimise biospecimen processing and certify biospecimen quality. IBBL is ISO 9001:2008 certified and ISO 17025:2005 accredited. IBBL’s quality management system is conceived to be compliant with NF S96-900:2011 and ISO 17043:2010. IBBL’s mission is to provide biospecimen related services and a biobanking infrastructure for applied medical research. IBBL’s vision is to be an international centre of excellence in biobanking and a valued partner in developing better healthcare solutions. IBBL is an autonomous institute, organised within the Luxembourg Institute of Health (LIH). For more information, please visit our corporate website ( or our public website (

The Biobank Branch, China Medicinal Biotech Association (BBCMBA) was established in 2009 with a vision to treasure Bio-specimens, implement standards, apply full utilisation of resources and protect property rights. BBCMBA is a national committee which works on promoting the standardisation of biobanking in China. The slogan of BBCMBA is: Industry standard, Education and training, Academic communication and International cooperation.

ISBER is the only global forum that addresses harmonization of scientific, technical, legal, and ethical issues relevant to repositories of biological and environmental specimens. The mission of ISBER as a global organization is to create opportunities for sharing ideas and innovations in biobanking and harmonises approaches to evolving challenges for biological and environmental repositories. ISBER fosters collaboration, creates education and training opportunities, provides an international showcase for state-of-the-art policies, processes, and research findings, and innovative technologies, products, and services. Together, these activities promote best practices that cut across the broad range of repositories that ISBER serves.

Arnaud d’Agostini (Head of Marketing & Communication)
IBBL (Integrated BioBank of Luxembourg)
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Tel: + 352 26 970 - 524
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