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Celera Releases Terms of Material Transfer Agreement

NEW YORK, Feb 12 – Celera released Monday its much-awaited material transfer agreement, which sets the terms for academic researchers wishing to download data from the company’s human genome database.

The announcement in December that Celera’s data would only be available to the academic community through the company’s website, and not through a public international database such as Genbank, EMBL, or DDBJ, caused an outcry from researchers concerned about the impact such restrictions might cause.

At the time, Celera said commercial users would also be able to access this data, as long as they too signed a material transfer agreement not to commercialize the results or redistribute the sequence. But Celera said in the actual material transfer agreement that it applies only to academics.

Science , however, said on its homepage on Monday that commercial users are allowed to access the data “for validation and verification purposes only upon executing a material transfer agreement.” Celera was not immediately available for comment.

The following is a copy of some of the main points and highlights taken from Celera’s website. For a full copy of the agreement, go to public.celera.com.

·         Celera Genomics is providing DNA sequence information free to the academic research community with no reach-through rights to:

o        permit validation and analysis of results;

o        promote understanding of the human genome; and

o        stimulate discoveries.

·         Users accessing the Celera Genomics databases are allowed to and encouraged to:

         · publish their results and discoveries in scientific journals

apply for patents and license their discoveries; and

o        provide hyperlinks to Celera.com.

· This service allows a user to identify gene loci within the genome and download these results up to 1 megabase of Celera Data per week. For a researcher who needs to download anything larger than 1 megabase of sequence per week, the researcher and an authorized representative of the researcher's institution must sign a formal agreement stating that the downloaded data will be used for research purposes and will not be distributed. For any researcher who does not qualify as an Academic User, you must contact Celera to obtain proper terms and conditions for access to the Celera Data.

·   Distribute the results of a genome-scale sequence analysis (whole chromosome to whole genome) only in the following 2 ways: 1) coordinates defining genome features may be posted freely on a User's web site or otherwise distributed and links may be provided to specific sequences at the Service; or 2) Celera Data associated with such analysis shall be distributed only through the Celera web site and under the terms of this Agreement. Please contact Celera for details about how to link to or post information on the Service.

·   Request that Celera deposit the necessary Celera Data from your publication into GenBank. For example, if you sequence a full length cDNA clone corresponding to a region of the Celera human genome sequence and are describing the underlying Celera Data in a scientific journal that requires the genomic sequence be deposited in GenBank, and such journal will not publish your paper with a link to the Celera Publication Site, then upon your written request to Celera.com Celera will make a deposit of the underlying single gene sequence in GenBank and provide you and such journal with an appropriate GenBank accession number. If your request is for sequence greater than a single gene, Celera will evaluate such requests on a case by case basis.

·         User search submissions are private and confidential to the extent that Celera will not monitor, use, disclose or distribute a User's sequence request, however, Celera reserves the right to:

    1. require a minimum sequence length for each search submission;

    2. limit the maximum sequence length for search submissions;

    3. limit the number of queries performed within a specific timeframe; and

    4. perform such monitoring as necessary to ensure smooth operation and performance of the Service.

If you have any comments about the material transfer agreement and the impact it will have on genomic research going forward, please write to [email protected]

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