The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center requires that a Material Transfer Agreement (MTA) and/or a Data Use Transfer Agreement (DUA/DTA) must be incorporated to oversee any transfers of research materials, including data, into and out of MD Anderson.
The main purpose of an MTA is to protect the intellectual property rights and publications rights of both the providing and receiving scientists, as well as providing the appropriate disclaimers and indemnification necessary in order to protect the institution. In this fashion, MTAs protect academic rights and freedoms such as the freedom to pursue a research topic and the right to publish results for the researcher and institute providing the material, as well as those receiving the research material.
What is a Material Transfer Agreement?
A Material Transfer Agreement (MTA) is a binding legal document, generally without funding, that governs the transfer of research materials between two organizations or entities. MTAs allow for early access to materials not yet available on the market, enable scientific collaboration and help meet funding institution guidelines (i.e. National Institutes of Health).
MD Anderson’s principal investigators must submit an MTA when shipping and/or receiving research materials and/or data including the following materials:
- Plasmids/vectors, antibodies, peptides, rDNA, reagents, compounds, etc.
- Animal strains, cell lines, tissue, etc.
- Human cell lines, tissue, DNA libraries, growth factors, etc.
- Equipment, devices, data, software
Our office works closely with both researchers, external organizations, legal services and compliance reviewers to ensure that each MTA is compliant with all institutional guidelines. The Office of Research Administration is the authorized signing official for MD Anderson.
Why are Material Transfer Agreements important?
MTAs are important because they delineate the rights, obligations and restrictions of both the providing and receiving scientists with such issues as ownership, modifications or derivatives of the materials made by the recipient, limits the use of the materials, third party distribution, rights to inventions and publishing, reporting and confidentiality obligations.
Requests for materials and/or data from MD Anderson Cancer Center are best initiated by the Principal Investigator of the lab of interest. This ensures the laboratory’s support in proceeding through the necessary channels for approval.
The MD Anderson PI will submit an MTA request in our eResearch MTA System for legal and compliance reviews. Once the MTA agreement has been processed, we will route for signatures. Please note that all MTA agreements must be approved by MDA Legal Services and can only be signed by MD Anderson’s authorized signing official.
To learn more about initiation of a Material Transfer Agreement, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.