Facilitating global collaborations for pregnancy and pediatric biomarker research through a biobank database: the COPPER project

Date & Time
Wednesday, September 6, 2023, 12:30 PM - 2:00 PM
Location Name
Session Type
Engaging stakeholders and building partnerships
Haas D1, Faysal H1, Wapner R2, Alfirevic Z3, Waitt C3, Quinney S1
1Indiana University School of Medicine, USA
2Columbia University, USA
3University of Liverpool, UK

Background: Many studies use biologic specimens to support pregnancy or pediatric research. Globally, research studies often collect biologic specimens from study participants and have leftover specimens stored in “biobanks.” There is currently no centralized database of residual pregnancy or pediatric specimens in biobanks available for use by other researchers.
Objectives: The objective of the Collaborative Online Perinatal and Pediatric Repository (COPPER) project is to develop a database of studies with pregnancy- and pediatric-related biospecimens linked to clinical outcomes that could be made available for use by other researchers. This could foster global collaboration, increase representation of individuals from under-represented groups, and make research more efficient at testing and validating biomarkers for clinical use.
Methods: An online REDCap survey is being utilized for the project. A survey link (attached) is available and has been sent to an initial list of investigators with known biobanks and those who have performed pregnancy studies in which specimens were noted to be collected. The survey asks about the name of the biobank, what and how specimens were collected and stored, available clinical information (de-identified), the limitations that may be in place based on informed consent, and governance of the specimens and data.
Results: To date, 24 biobanks have responded to the survey. Of these, 62.5% have blood, 42% umbilical cord blood, 33% urine, 42% placental tissue, 17% breast milk, and 25% DNA or genetic material. Biobanks vary by size, with specimens from 30 to 10,038 individuals. Most biobanks reported participant characteristics, including race and ethnicity, what trimester specimens were collected from, and pregnancy conditions and complications associated with the biologic specimens.
Conclusions: There are many pregnancy and pediatric biospecimens available for collaborative research. This initial survey yielded robust responses from a small group of invited investigators in the United States. We plan to invite investigators from around the world to also complete the survey. The ultimate goal is a searchable database of pregnancy and childhood biospecimens available to enable investigators to pool specimens from a multitude of populations to enhance research resources and guide clinical care in pregnant and pediatric patients worldwide. Consumer involvement: In next stage.