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, established in 2018, gives researchers access to a large database of biological samples. These samples can be used to find new ways to diagnose, treat and prevent pregnancy complications. Biobanks have revolutionalised treatment for other conditions, such as cancer. We hope 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. These samples are collected before, during and after normal or complex pregnancies. The samples donated by patients are linked to medical history and pregnancy outcome as well as to information about the baby’s health through Tommy’s Net, which is a database that holds the pregnancy and medical records of many women treated at different hospitals and clinics.

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 is easily searchable.

Where is the biobank based?

Tommy’s researchers have found a way to combine samples, data and expertise from across the UK. Our research centres have worked together closely to create our national biobank.

Data is currently collected from six biobanks at the following centres across the country:

We are also beginning to partner with the University of Oxford, and their biobank will become the seventh biobank in this national collaboration.

Tommy's National Biobank structure
Biobank structure

What difference will this biobank make?

Tommy’s Reproductive Health Biobank will help the wider research community to share samples and data more effectively and make it much easier to study pregnancy complications in large groups of women.

The tissues, donated by women who have a history of pregnancy problems, combined with clinical data, will help scientists find new causes and treatments for miscarriage, stillbirth and premature birth.

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

Quote marks Created with Sketch.

"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