DNA and Cell Bank

Since its creation in 1990, the mission of the Genethon’s DNA and Cell Bank is to promote advances in genetic research by providing the scientific community with a high quality cell and human tissue products resource.

Europe’s leading bank for genetic diseases, it serves the whole of the medical and scientific community.

The DNA and Cell Bank has been certified according to the AFNOR NF 
S96-900 standard since June 2009.


Capacity, management & traceability
Activities & prestations
Catalogs DNA / Lines by pathologies
Catalogs Primary cultures

Each year, Genethon’s DNA and Cell Bank:

  • Produces approximately 2,000 lymphoblastoid cell lines
  • Performs approximately 3,000 DNA extractions
  • Prepares primary myoblast and fibroblast cultures from approximately 100 biopsies

It has a total storage capacity of 436,000 samples.

Breakdown of pathologies contained in the Genethon DNA and Cell bank

Management & Traceability

Genethon has developed a computer database for ensuring sample management and traceability, which has been submitted to and approved by the CNIL. The Genethon DNA and Cell Bank has been AFNOR certified, according to French biological research center standard NF S 96-900.

Biological resource collection and transportation guidelines and Charter

A charter has been drawn up to govern relationships between the DNA and Cell Bank and any persons using its services, in accordance both with ethical guidelines for the collection of human products, laws and regulations governing the collection of samples, their treatment and storage, and all related provisions.

The DNA and Cell Bank complies with specific guidelines regarding the collection and transportation of biological resources.


The Genethon DNA and Cell Bank is an IBiSA platform:

  • INSERM (French National Healthcare and Medical Research Institute)
  • CNRS (French National Center for Scientific Research)
  • Patient associations (Rett syndrome, Fondation Vaincre l’Autisme etc.)
  • Neuromuscular disease research networks supported by AFM
  • Cancer centers (Curie, Gustave Roussy and René Huguenin institutes)
  • Partnerships with scientists and institutions from countries in the Mediterranean basin (Algeria, Tunisia, Morocco, Turkey, Lebanon, Syria, Iran and Saudi Arabia) researching rare diseases
  • Participation in European projects: ECRAF (European Consortium on Rheumatoid Arthritis Families), EuroAs (European research project on ankylosing spondylitis), EuroBioBank (European network of biological banks for research into rare diseases), BBMRI (Biobanking and Biomolecular Resources Research Infrastructure) and Treat-NMD.

The activities of the DNA and Cell Bank are as follows:

  • Collecting blood or DNA from patients affected with genetic diseases and their families with the minimum identification data necessary for the monitoring and follow-up of samples.
  • Processing the samples in order to make them available to the scientific community and perpetuating DNA preservation (serum isolation and DNA extraction), isolating lymphocytes and establishing lymphoblastoid B lines and primary cultures (mainly myoblasts and fibroblasts).
  • Storing samples for future research and preserving the genetic heritage by ensuring the long-term physical security of the preserved samples.
  • Distributing samples as necessary for ongoing research while complying with the principles and laws of bioethics and using the best available technologies at minimum cost.All these activities are carried out following Standard Operating Procedures (SOP)  validated by the Quality Assurance department at Genethon.

The Bank’s activity is exclusively one of research, not of diagnosis.

The Bank is open to researchers in France or abroad wishing to store samples or use the services provided (extraction, establishment of cell lines etc.).

Each sample received at Genethon is coded in order to guarantee confidentiality, in accordance with the rules established by the CNIL (French Data Protection Authority).

All requests for collaboration with the DNA and Cell Bank should be made in writing to Dr Safaa SAKER-DELYE.

Transport of biological resources :

For all requests pertaining to transport, processing and storage of biological resources, a collaboration contract specifying rights and obligations of all parties will be drawn up.

Other services :

These services are provided at an established rate.

Group of pathologies

Number of individuals

Number of families

8 933 4 172
6 599 1 146
1 438 722
214 153
663 174
434 286
309 71
17 277 6 290
17 921 8 731
487 130
327 62
1 223 265
4 885 4 860
5 521 1 560
2  157 726
Total 68 388 29 348