ME/CFS Biobank Austria – Establishment of the First Austrian Biobank for ME/CFS Patient Samples

October 6, 2023

The first Austrian ME/CFS Biobank has been under construction at the Medical University of Vienna since September 1, 2023, with support from an initial grant provided by the WE&ME Foundation. The primary goal of a biobank is to collect samples and patient data for scientific research in a standardized manner, following the same established protocols. In this particular case, the collection of samples is being coordinated with ME/CFS biobanks in the United Kingdom, Germany, and the Netherlands. The storage of samples and data will take place in dedicated facilities at the Medical University of Vienna.

The stated objective of the biobank project is to participate in large international collaborative projects. By utilizing biobank samples, it becomes possible to include a larger number of patients in research studies. Recently, a major joint EU project proposal was submitted to enhance ME/CFS research with the involvement of European biobanks. Ultimately, this will expedite research in the field of ME/CFS, as samples will be readily available for collaborative inquiries without the need for new sample collection. Furthermore, the researchers at the Medical University of Vienna hope that the availability of samples from the ME/CFS Biobank Austria will make Vienna an attractive hub for future therapeutic studies, as access to existing patient samples for comparative purposes will be possible.

The ME/CFS Biobank Austria, under the leadership of Prof. Untersmayr-Elsenhuber, represents a significant contribution to intensify research in the field of ME/CFS, focusing on disease mechanisms, diagnostics, and causal therapies.