The Office of Population Health Genomics of the West Australian Department of Health has this week released new Guidelines for human biobanks, genetic research databases and associated data. The Guidelines are intended for biobanks, human and population genetic research databases within the jurisdiction of the WA Department of Health, of which there are around 100, but may also be useful for other facilities and research ethics committees. They were built on the OECD recommended draft Guidelines for Human Biobanks and Genetic Research Databases (see previous news), with input from a range of local stakeholders and wider public consultation.
The Guidelines cover general principles and recommended best practices for the establishment, governance, management, oversight and (if required) eventual closure of biobanking facilities. This includes consideration of access to and protection of samples and data, including privacy, benefit-sharing and intellectual property issues.
Director of the Office of Population Health Genomics Dr Peter O'Leary said that the guidelines would ‘strengthen WA’s position as an innovative leader in genetic research and data linkage’ (see press release).