Human tissue samples are used routinely in basic, translational, and clinical research both to generate and to test scientific hypotheses. Biospecimen-based studies extend what can be learned using in silico models and tools, in vitro cell systems, and animal disease models. These complementary methods cannot replace tissue-based research for a thorough understanding of human biology because they do not represent the complexity and heterogeneity of organ and tissue systems and the cells within them. Furthermore, to achieve usable biomedical knowledge, it is essential to validate your hypotheses using a statistically significant sample size. A limited number of clinical samples will not reflect the true range of tissue- and patient-specific variation for most biomedical study factors. Folio can help you choose the right number of samples for your experimental design, or work with you to progressively extend the sample size (and populations) based on your findings and add to the confidence level you need for your conclusions. Beyond our biorepository, our custom tissue procurement services are available to provide any format you need, including FFPE Samples, Frozen Samples, PBMC Isolation, Serum, Plasma, and Urine, and samples are collected prospectively to be processed according to your research needs.
Cancer research studies. Cancer research and tumor biology projects are the most common disease related area of study for our clients. One key reason for this is that the cancerous tissue (and its gene and protein expression) is always different from normal tissue, so general models or normal samples will never reveal the tumor-specific characteristics or screening results. Furthermore, for a very similar reason (the uniqueness of every cancer instance) it is the medical practices around cancer diagnostics and treatment that lead to the great abundance of cancer-related biospecimens available for your research studies. To streamline procurement of the right set of samples for your cancer research projects, Folio has catalogued its samples by cancer and tissue type as well as other pertinent parameters to select and deliver the quality biospecimens that satisfy your design requirements. In the rare case that you need samples not already in our 6 million plus specimen biorepository, we have the proven relationships in place to get you precisely what you need. Our custom procurement services are the best and most affordable in the industry because of the volume of business we do, our quality and ethical practices, and the expertise of our team.
Cancer Tissue Microarrays (TMAs). We offer high quality tissue microarrays that provide you with a large number of matched and annotated samples on a single slide. Our TMAs have the reputation of being the best in the business because of our practices and standardization. Folio’s TMAs support all of your standard assay procedures including inmmunohistochemistry screening of proteins, chromosomal studies using FISH, and gene or miRNA expression using in situ hybridization. Our TMAs are well suited for any high throughput tissue analysis method. The TMAs provide an easy form factor to reduce benchwork time and risks to screen the number or type of cancers and tissues needed to provide statistical significance for your study results or to validate an assay. TMAs are also a great way to perform standardized survey studies across multiple biospecimen types/cases to help formulate your hypotheses, and our TMAs can be a very low cost way to conduct your tissue-based research studies. Folio provides a full catalog of TMAs for the major types of cancer (dozens of distinct cancer panels) and normal tissue. In addition, we can create custom TMAs to meet your precise study needs.
Neurological and other disease studies. One of Folio’s areas of specialization is providing selected tissue samples for neurobiology studies. For example, we sourced tissue for large Alzheimer’s Disease studies. When clients needed specialized cases beyond what was already among the 6 million samples in our Biobank, they found Folio to be the most efficient partner for custom procurement. These clients continue to come back to Folio because of the success in customized specimen procurement.
Personalized medicine. Our biospecimens cover the full range of human biomarker variation, across patients and tissues, to help get to safer and better clinical trial outcomes faster and at a lower cost. Combining our clinically annotated tissue samples with the right assays allows you to identify factors for patient variability up front and to select and plan the right trials with the right patients. Tissue-based research studies are essential to identify and validate biomarkers used for personalized medical applications, and the combination of biomarker analysis with tissue variation and patient-based cohort and outcome data will facilitate the development of new and better companion diagnostics.
Pharmaceutical and Drug Discovery Studies – There is a need for more biobank-based pharmaceutical studies. Many compounds successfully pass preclinical and early stage clinical tests only to fail in the later (and much more expensive) stages of drug development and clinical trials. Any information that helps guide the decisions of which therapeutics to pursue, or which patients to select for successful clinical trials, is tremendously valuable. As important as in vitro assays and animal studies may be, there is no substitute for understanding the variation of the drug’s target(s) within the human population and specific human tissues, and between normal and diseased states. Utilizing Folio’s tissue bank will enable you to screen the largest numbers of selected well-characterized specimens in order to gain the needed insights to bring effective new compounds and biologics to market with substantially less risk and cost.