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UK M.E./CFS Biobank launches today, M.E. Awareness Day

May 12, 2016

Action for M.E.’s Head of Communications and Policy, Clare Ogden, will join scientists, doctors and patients at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (LSHTM) this evening – M.E. Awareness Day – for the launch of the UK M.E./CFS Biobank.

The biobank scheme gives researchers from around the world access to the samples for their own studies.

“For the first time, a UK biobank will be fueling the search for diagnostic biomarkers to an often misunderstood illness. These could then pave the way to better treatments and perhaps even a cure,” says biobank co-ordinator Hayley Curran.

The biobank project was launched in August 2011 with the support of M.E. charities, including Action for M.E. So far there are 28,000 samples, taken from over 500 patients. It has already gained a $1.5 million grant from the prestigious National Institutes of Health in the USA.

Sonya Chowdhury, Chief Executive, Action for M.E., says:

“This unique resource, of which Action for M.E. is incredibly proud to be a founding co-funder, shows what can be achieved when organisations are committed to collaboration. Working with other M.E. charities and the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine to attract a mainstream funding grant of $1.5 million from the National Institutes of Health is testament to this.”

The Biobank can only accept donations of blood from people living in London and Norfolk (this is because the samples have to be processed within a certain time frame). The Biobank team can provide more information and you can contact them by email. The Biobank is also on Twitter @mecfsbiobank and Facebook