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Application Process for Obtaining Samples and Data from BBJ

BBJ’s Online Biological Samples Search System

You can search the number of samples held by BBJ using the following criteria: sample type, gender, age at registration, name of registered disease, medical history, smoking history, alcohol consumption history, and presence of GWAS data. Please use the search results as a ” an approximate number of samples” when applying to BioBank Japan for sample distribution. Please note that the search results are current as of the time of regular data updates and may differ from the current holding status. (Japanese only)

BBJ's Online Biological Samples Search System
BBJ's Online Biological Samples Search System

Application process for obtaining samples and data available at BBJ

Details on each step (from STEP-1 to STEP-7)

STEP-1 Prior confirmation/consultation 

① Query Request Form of the number of available samples: Upon request, the Office of BBJ conducts an investigation to find the number of samples/data in its actual inventory. When using the BBJ Online Biological Samples Search System (Japanese only), you can download an Application Form for Investigation, and a ‘post-search inquiry number’ will be automatically assigned. Simply complete the form and return it to the Office of BBJ via email.

Contact for inquiries concerning samples and data:
The Office of BBJ
E-mail: shiryo_h“at”
(Please change “at” to “@” to send e-mail.)

② Result of the investigation: You will be notified of the number of stored samples/data by email. You can consult us as to whether you should apply to the BBJ’s Sample and Data Access Committee for the samples/data, or try the search investigation again.
For genome data provided by BBJ, please confirm the following website before applying.

Available Genomic and Omics Data

For genomic and omics data that are available and shared by public databases such as NBDC, please refer to the Application Process for Obtaining Genomic/Omics data available at public database and corresponding clinical information available at BBJ (bottom of this page) and submit your application to the respective database.

STEP-2 Ethical Review

Please obtain ethical review of your research plan for the use of BBJ samples and data at your own institution etc. and get an approval.

STEP-3 Apply to the BBJ / Review by BBJ Sample and Data Access Committee

(1) Application to the BBJ Sample and Data Access Committee:

The Office of BBJ will send a set of application documents (electronic documents) to those research projects that have completed (or been on the process) STEP-1 and STEP-2. After completing, please upload the documents to the designated folder.

Necessary documents at the time of application:

  1. ①Sample/Data Access Application Form
  2. ②Appendix A, Appendix A for Serum Panel, or Appendix B for Storage Consignment to Application Form
  3. ③Appendix D for use of cause of death information and Appendix C (in case of a change application)
  4. ④Research Project Plan (Plan approved by the Ethics Committee ; documents and figures can be attached.)
  5. ⑤A duplicate of a written approval issued by the ethical review committee of your organization
  6. ⑥Security Guideline Checklist

※Please read through the following items before making an application (Japanese only):
Sample and Data Access Committee Review Criteria
BBJ Sample and Data Access Guidelines
BBJ Data Handling Security Guidelines (for Users)
Details on the process of review and guidelines for samples and data use can be found here.

(2)Electronic Review:The review process will be on-line with the exception of reviews that require lengthy discussion due to the research’s complicated nature. The decision of the review will be notified via email.
(3)Reporting of the review result: The review result will be reported to you via email.

STEP-4 Agreement on Contract for Distribution of Material (MTA)

(1)Application for an agreement: You should send an Application Form for Conclusion of Material Transfer Agreement (MTA) to the Office of BBJ.
(2)Conclusion of an MTA: After confirming the receipt of your Application Form for Conclusion of MTA, the Office of BBJ will send the contract document to you. The contract is concluded when you affix a seal to it.

STEP-5 Receive Sample and Data

The Samples/data will be provided to the applicants in the following manner:

Samples: The applicant will be notified when the samples are retrieved from the archive and ready for delivery. Samples will be 1) kept at the temperature of 4℃ for DNA samples, 2) frozen for serum samples, and sent via express delivery service and will arrive in one or two business days.
Data: Clinical information from BBJ will be decompressed and provided in the CD-ROM format. The applicant will be notified a password via email to unzip the files.
Genetic data are downloadable from the National Bioscience Data Center (NBDC) website. The applicants should follow the instructions given by NBDC in applying for the access of genetic datasets.

STEP-6 Make a Payment

Payment: When you receive the bill, you should make payment by the due date.

Usage Fees

STEP-7 Submit Annual Reports

Annual reports: You are requested to submit an annual report of your research and a security checklist every year in August until your research is completed. In addition, the title of the research project and the name of the research leader will be made public on our website for approved research proposals.

  • ① When you have finished utilizing the samples/data by the end of the predetermined use period: You are required to submit a Research Completion Report and a Research Outcome Report, dispose of any remaining samples by the end of the use period, and submit a Sample/Data Disposal Report.
  • ② When the predetermined use period needs to be extended:(Extension of the period of use of samples is subject to ethical review by the institute to which the researcher belongs or others. In addition, approval by the Review Board for the Use of Samples, etc., is required.)
    • After getting the approval for the extension period by the ethical reviewer, you are required to submit all application documents and Appendix C (Revision to Application) to the Sample and Data Access Committee at BBJ.
    • When you finish utilizing the samples/data after extending the use period, you should follow the same procedure described on ①.

Application Process for Genomic/Omics data available at a public database and for corresponding clinical information at BBJ

For genomic and omics data, some are available at BBJ database and some are available at public databases such as NBDC/AGD to promote the utilization of data.

To check Available Genomic and Omics Data

For data disclosed by BBJ, please submit an application for use to BBJ. For data disclosed by public databases, please submit an application for use to each database.

For details on the items of the clinical information (basic information and disease sheet), please refer to the following page.

Details on the Clinical Information (basic information and disease sheet) (Japanese only)

Application flow for obtaining Genomic/Omics data available at public database and corresponding clinical information available at BBJ

Refer to the following webpages for overview of BBJ’s samples and data collections and required fee

Overview of Samples and Data Collections – Number of Cases/DNA/Serum/Genomic Data and Clinical Information

Usage Fees