The Biobank of the Public Health System of Andalusia, as regulated by the Ministry of Health and Families and by virtue of the decree approved by the Autonomous Community of Andalusia 1/2013 was established as a Network Biobank. Thus, it integrates units of public health centres, cell line banks, and other public centres that can obtain, process, and preserve cells, tissue, substances, and biological samples for clinical or research use. The blood, cells, tissue, liquids, substances, and other biological samples that are kept in the Biobank have a healthcare purpose and, with the consent of the donor, may also be used in medical research. The Biobank thus performs functions in the fields of healthcare and biomedical research. This is reflected by the Biobank’s organization that incorporates two functional areas; namely, the areas of (A) healthcare and (B) medical research. Each of these areas are subject to the responsibility of the Andalusian Health Service and the Ministry of Health and Families, each of which possess competencies in healthcare and medical research.
The Biobank has progressively increased its activities since it was first established with the integration of the Andalusian Stem Cell Bank, the Tumour Bank Network, and the Human DNA Bank of Andalusia. It is thus a mixed biobank, organized in a Research Area and a Healthcare area. This organisational structure constitutes, without a doubt, a Biobank that holds great potential for our country. It is precisely the close relationship that it maintains with the Public Health System of Andalusia which constitutes its unique value to society and its potential to distribute samples and data from different health centres, tissue banks, and transfusion, tissue, and cell centres. This area of the Biobank’s operations is an essential care activity within the healthcare system.