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Kidney Research UK has launched the first kidney biobank covering England, Scotland and Wales. The biobank has been named NURTuRE (the National Unified Renal Translational Research Enterprise). Developed in the first instance to collect and store biological samples from 3,000 patients with chronic kidney disease (CKD) and at least 800 patients with nephrotic syndrome (NS), the biobank will provide a strategic resource for fundamental and translational research. In addition to the samples of plasma, serum, urine, DNA and tissue that will be stored, the repository will also have the considerable advantage of containing associated linked clinical data, through the UK Renal Registry.

Running over a five-year period, the samples will be obtained through 14 NHS Trusts, with patients followed up at specific intervals. From mid-2018, all researchers will be able to apply for access to samples stored in the biobank for future studies.

“The UK Renal Research Strategy launched last year recognised the need for a kidney biobank and Kidney Research UK has led the collaboration to deliver this key resource for the renal research community,” said Elaine Davies, Director of Research Operations at Kidney Research UK. “Operating to a standardised protocol, this resource opens up a wealth of new opportunities for researchers and industry to accelerate new advances that will benefit kidney patients and their treatment and care.

“The anonymised data contained within the NURTuRE biobank has the potential to unlock answers to some of the biggest questions about CKD and NS.

“Ultimately, the cross analysis of biological samples alongside clinical data will enable us to develop new biomarkers. This will then lead to a greater ability to identify patients who will benefit from better, earlier diagnosis and person-specific new treatments, leading to better health outcomes.”

World-leading UK and European experts, together with pharmaceutical industry partners and the UK Renal Registry, have formed the collaboration to deliver this high quality resource. The ability to link biological data and clinical data is hugely powerful, and unique to the UK.

The biobank is funded by AbbVie Inc, Evotec, UCB and Kidney Research UK. Experts from the University of Bristol and the University of Nottingham form the core academic team overseeing all operational delivery. Biomarker analysis will take place at the University of Geneva and histopathological (tissue) analysis at the University of Birmingham.

Professor Maarten Taal (Project Investigator, CKD cohort, Professor of Medicine at the University of Nottingham) and Professor Moin Saleem (Project Investigator, NS cohort, Professor of Paediatric Renal Medicine at the University of Bristol) will be available to take questions about the NURTuRE biobank during the UK Kidney Week conference taking place in Liverpool.  They will be available at the Kidney Research UK stand (no. 28) at: 13:30 on the Monday 19 June and 14:15 on Wednesday 21 June. UK Kidney Week takes place at ACC Liverpool, Kings Dock St, Liverpool, Merseyside L3 4FP from 19-21 June.

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