ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — One local healthcare player is looking to turn remnant laboratory specimens into cash and help advance medical science.
New Mexico-based TriCore Reference Laboratories on Monday said it has inked an agreement with iSpecimen, a Boston company that connects medical researchers with appropriate specimens from laboratories and hospitals.
Financial terms of the arrangement were not disclosed.
When a patient has blood drawn, some of it’s used for testing to determine a diagnosis and treatment plan, but afterward it’s often discarded, though hospitals and clinical labs are now selling these leftovers for research purposes. They tend to go with biobanking, in which huge repositories of patient samples are kept on hand.
That where iSpecimen comes in — building a sort of next-gen version of biobanking. It sources these remaining patient samples, and makes them, and the associated data, available to researchers on demand. Depending on what the project is, TriCore could be shipping blood and tissue samples to major drug companies from its repository for researchers working on cures for cancer or Alzheimer’s disease.
“TriCore has been a long-time supporter of the advancement of biomedical research,” said Eric Carbonneau, director of the core lab operations & research institute at TriCore. “The new agreement with iSpecimen will allow us to expand our reach across the scientific community, providing specimens directly for the discovery of new diagnostics and therapeutics. The increased visibility for TriCore with researchers throughout the country will also allow us to participate in more translational research and clinical trials.”