Popgen 2.0 Network (P2N)

After an intensive selection process, the PopGen 2.0 Network (P2N) – a consortium of biomaterial banks of the University Hospital Schleswig-Holstein (UKSH) and the Christian-Albrechts-University Kiel (CAU) – has decided in favor of the CentraXX software system of KAIROS. P2N unites seven large and already existing biomaterial banks. Through their networking, the existing biomaterials and data, which have all been collected in compliance with relevant data protection requirements and ethical principles, are to be made more suitable for national and international medical research.

The project is led by Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Lieb, Director of the Institute for Epidemiology, and by Prof. Dr. Michael Krawczak, Director of the Institute for Medical Informatics and Statistics. The core and motor of the network is the biobank PopGen, which has been funded by the federal government and the state of Schleswig-Holstein since 2003. PopGen is dedicated to the genetic research of so-called widespread diseases such as heart attacks, cancer or chronic inflammations and currently has more than 100,000 biomaterial samples at its disposal. With the networking that has now taken place, including with the Institute of Pathology, the North Cancer Center and Neuromedicine, new important partners have joined the ranks in the fight against widespread diseases. Such cooperation is so far unique in Germany.

As part of P2N, the IT infrastructure of the participating biobanks will be streamlined, a joint data management system will be set up and all quality control measures for the samples and data included will be standardised,” says Dr. Andreas Wolf, IT Director of P2N, explaining the most important IT requirements.

This is exactly where the task of the Bochum-based software company KAIROS begins. KAIROS has specialised in the development of such intelligent biobank systems and has developed the CentraXX medical information portal. Here, the information from the biosample is not isolated, but is rather closely linked to a patient and their history. The KAIROS system is embedded in the existing IT infrastructure of the P2N and equipped with interfaces to clinical documentation systems and registries. Designed as a patient-centered information system, the file function in CentraXX is used as a supplement to the electronic patient file of the UKSH to store all relevant data and facts on the course of the disease as well as on the sample. The advantage: with each update of the clinical progression, the knowledge about the biosample also grows – and thus its scientific value. This longitudinally recorded information turns a one-dimensional collection of sample information into a multi-dimensional information cube, the extent of which contains current and archived clinical patient data and establishes the relationship to the sample. An analysis tool provides doctors and researchers with comprehensive search and evaluation functions.

P2N and KAIROS are jointly pursuing the goal of establishing a sustainable biobank infrastructure at the Kiel site that guarantees the effective use of human biomaterials for research purposes. “For this reason, we have also agreed a development partnership with KAIROS for the next 5 years,” adds Dr. Andreas Günsel, Operational Project Manager of P2N.

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