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Ethics & Compliance

The procurement of biospecimens can be a highly risky endeavor, especially when it comes to the compliance process. The iSpecimen Marketplace™ efficiently and thoroughly manages critical aspects of compliance at each stage of biospecimen procurement, helping to mitigate risks and instill confidence.

Ethical Oversight

Ethical Oversight

  • All specimens from iSpecimen are collected under the oversight of an IRB/IEC or other appropriate ethics committee. In the U.S., this includes conformance to 45 CFR part 46, HIPAA, 21CFR Part 50/56, and the Uniform Anatomical Gift Act. Specifically:
  • Specimens Collected Specifically for Research (“Human Subject Research”) are collected under iSpecimen’s IRB protocol with informed consent or under our partners’ IRB/IEC protocol with informed consent, both of which have been reviewed and approved by iSpecimen’s compliance team.
  • Remnant Clinical Specimens are collected under a Non-Human Subject Research determination without consent (45 CFR 46 exemption 4), with a waiver of consent, or with informed consent, depending on the sourcing institution. Researchers can specify the level of consent desired when procuring specimens and only those meeting proper consent requirements will be delivered.
  • Cadaver Specimens cadavers are collected under guidelines set forth by the Uniform Anatomical Gift Act with consent provided by the donor or next of kin.

iSpecimen will provide associated compliance documentation with specimens upon request.

A lab worker using a microscope to examine specimen procurement

Allowable Uses

The iSpecimen Partner Network includes a variety of healthcare providers and partners, each of which may have their own allowable specimen uses. Keeping track of these differences and ensuring proper specimen use is a major source of risk for researchers. iSpecimen tracks this information to help ensure that only specimens meeting these requirements are delivered. iSpecimen also vets researchers and their programs to help ensure that specimens only go to those with legitimate research or educational programs.

Patient Privacy

iSpecimen goes to great lengths to ensure a patient donor’s privacy is protected. Our technology automatically de-identifies patient data before we even receive it from our specimen partners, eliminating the PHI leakage that can happen with manual de-identification processes. Our technology undergoes regular, rigorous privacy and security audits to help ensure it continues to protect the identity of patient donors and is impervious to hackers. All researchers are contractually bound to never try to re-identify patients, ever.

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