Tommy’s National Reproductive Health Biobank

Tommy’s research centres have collaborated to create a single biobank to inform more life-saving research and studies.

Tommy’s National Reproductive Health Biobank was established in 2018 and gives researchers access to a large database of biological samples that can be used to find new ways of diagnosing, treating and preventing pregnancy complications. Biobanks have revolutionised treatment for other conditions, such as cancer, and we hope that the Tommy's biobank will do the same for miscarriage, stillbirth and premature birth.

What is a biobank?

A biobank is a collection of biological samples that are used in research studies. Our biobank collects tissue samples from women and their babies before, during and after normal or complex pregnancies. The samples donated by patients are linked to medical history, pregnancy outcomes and information about the baby’s health through Tommy’s Net, which is a database that holds the pregnancy and medical records of nearly 2,000 women.

Our biobank allows researchers across the country to ensure that the biological samples they use during clinical trials are consistent and of high quality. It also means that crucial data is easy to find and easily searchable.

Where is the biobank based?

Tommy’s research centres have worked closely together to create the national biobank, combining samples, data and expertise from across the UK.

Data is currently collected from seven biobanks at the following centres:

Tommy's National Biobank structure
Biobank structure

What difference will this biobank make?

Tommy’s National Reproductive Health Biobank received an honourable mention in the UKCRC TDCC UK Biobank of the year competition 2020:

“The panel would like to extend an honourable mention to this biobank as they were impressed by Tommy’s application, including the rich data it supplies and evidence of its ability to cater to an unmet need. They commend the biobank for providing an important specialist resource that is specific to one area of medicine. They noted that evidence of collaboration with industry and patient support charities was clearly provided and how that work provided benefit to patients.”

The biobank will help the wider research community to share samples and data more effectively, making it much easier to study pregnancy complications in large groups of women and enabling scientists to find new causes and treatments for miscarriage, stillbirth and premature birth.

This will help us find ways to save more babies’ lives.

"Tommy’s exists to make pregnancy and birth safer for everyone; but we still have so much to learn to identify who is at high risk. By understanding this, we can personalise our approach to each person and give them more effective and better care. The Tommy’s National Reproductive Health Biobank brings together data from our leading research centres and will enable us to find new ways to save babies’ lives.”
— Jane Brewin, Tommy's CEO