Helping to create a sustainable biobank

A collaboration with The University of Manchester


The University of Manchester coordinated the REQUITE project funded by the EU. REQUITE worked to establish an international observational study of patients undergoing radiotherapy for breast, prostate or lung cancer. The aim of the study was to try to predict which patients are more likely to have side effects (toxicity) from radiotherapy.

The REQUITE consortium recruited 4,438 patients and succeeded in establishing a centralised biorepository linked to a comprehensive clinical database. A public data discovery platform enables researchers to query the REQUITE resource.

Funding for REQUITE ended in September 2018, but the team were keen to develop a model that enabled continued access to these patient samples and high-quality data to support future radiotherapy related research. The intention was to create a sustainable model to ensure continued maintenance of the database and biobank.

The team had developed a cost-recovery model and were keen for an objective review of the proposed costing structure to develop a sustainable (not-for-profit) resource that would provide researchers with access to stored patient samples and data.


Our Samples & Data team reviewed the cost recovery model and provided advice on comparable cost models, funding restrictions, procedures for access, long-term use and storage. They also signposted the REQUITE team to Genomics England for advice on commercial access agreements.

Following interest from a US research team, the REQUITE team were able to successfully agree sample and data access for approximately 1,800 samples alongside accompanying clinical research data.


With our support, the team are also now able to promote and provide access to other researchers worldwide.

Ultimately, the REQUITE consortium has created a sustainable biobank and linked database and we can link the team with SMEs and support future access.

“Medicines Discovery Catapult provided guidance around fair pricing for clinical samples, and reviewed our cost recovery model. This was a useful exercise as we look to facilitate access to the biobank and database for cancer researchers worldwide.”
Rebecca Elliott, Senior Project Manager, The University of Manchester