- Human Biospecimens
- Biospecimen Contributors
December 2, 2021
Although many have suffered and died from COVID-19, the scientific community’s response to the disease has been in some ways a triumph, with effective vaccines developed in record-shattering time. We at iSpecimen were determined to join the effort to fight the disease early in the pandemic’s lifecycle. And we remain committed to the effort.
Back in May 2020, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) chose us in a competitive bidding process to provide serum samples from subjects who at that early stage had tested positive for SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. Researchers were exploring both short-term and longer-term impact of the disease on immunity, and were studying the level of COVID-19 antibodies present over time in affected patients.
We’ve been aggressively supporting COVID-19 research since, continuously collecting and distributing swabs, saliva, and blood products from patients and negative controls.
Just this week, we shared that we’ve been contracted to support to support new advanced research on COVID-19 intended to uncover insights on the virus’s transmissibility, variants, and outcomes among multiple population segments. We’ve been contracted by federal agencies and private companies for custom collections of COVID-19 patient samples, which are often complex and complement remnant and banked samples. We’ve been working with a U.S. military research organization working on testing platforms and investigating how the virus spreads.
Gathering samples for researchers has sometimes been more challenging and involved than it appeared at first glance. For example, in support of research projects that require a stream of different sample types from each research subject, as many as 21 specimens – including nasal swabs, oral swabs, saliva, and blood products in various forms and quantities – have been collected and delivered from individuals in recruited cohorts.
It’s no surprise that as medicine becomes more precise and complex, the research and the requirements for human biospecimens becomes more demanding. Samples are often collected across a range of geographies and reflect a variety of ages, races, and ethnicities. In some cases, samples are genetically sequenced to identify variants.
History has shown that without the right human biospecimens to work with, researchers must scale back or postpone their work. We work to prevent that. We’re proud to give researchers the human biospecimens and data they need when they need them, dissolving bottlenecks as we proceed.
We’ll keep doing this as long as necessary, but hopefully someday soon we will run out of COVID-19 Specimens to collect. Because no one else will be getting sick.
Learn about the iSpecimen Marketplace where you can browse millions of richly annotated, de-identified human tissue and biofluid biospecimens, in addition to hematopoietic and immune cell products and COVID-19 samples. You can join for free.