You can leverage unique and wide-ranging resources at NIH through our co-development agreements, and, by working together, more effectively apply the deep knowledge base of NIH to develop new biomedical technologies. There are a variety of mechanisms by which you can partner with NIH to pursue research and development. In general, the most appropriate mechanism will be determined by the type of partnership you seek, as well as the specific research project you want to be done. A detailed comparison can be found here.
A Confidential Disclosure Agreement (CDA) may be used to limit the public release of the information if confidential or proprietary information is to be exchanged.
If you are with a non-profit or university:
- A Material Transfer Agreement (MTA) will be required for exchanging research materials with an NIH scientist in order to memorialize the transfer. This is critical if the materials are human-derived;
- See our licensing and co-development agreements for further options.
If you are with a for-profit company:
- A Biological Materials License is required for transfer of materials from NIH;
- A Collaboration Agreement is the simplest, and usually the fastest, agreement that allows you to exchange proprietary materials and information if you do not require that inventions made during the course of the research be licensed and if each party retains responsibility for a research budget;
- A Cooperative Research and Development Agreement (CRADA) allows you to negotiate options to license to inventions made in NIH laboratories during the performance of the collaboration. A CRADA also allows NIH to receive funds and other resources to support the research. Because of these options, a CRADA may take more time to execute than a Collaboration Agreement. You should ask us about the several variations of CRADAs that allow transfer of proprietary materials (Materials-CRADA), and co-development within clinical trials (Clinical Trials CRADA).
- A Clinical Trial Agreement (CTA) is designed to address the unique demands of performing clinical research on patients. A CTA defines who will perform the trials, who is responsible for providing the drug or other materials needed, as well as detailed terms assigning responsibility for complying with Federal regulations on protecting human subjects.
Deciding which type of agreement to use can be a challenge. Therefore, the TTC highly recommends that you discuss the most favorable type of partnership with our Invention Development and Marketing Unit.