Human Material Transfer Agreement


The determination of the ownership of SA MTA may have been conceived as a symbolic means of recognising the importance given to human biological matter in some South African cultures. This provision could also be intended to strengthen the negotiating position of research participants with regard to the attribution of research results. However, these potential objectives raise the question whether the legal concept of ownership is an appropriate means of achieving those objectives. Property may have symbolic value, but in the broader context of the South African legal landscape, as discussed above, the value of property is only symbolic (quartelle property) and may therefore lead researchers to think that they have more legal rights than they actually have. For example, where research receives public funds, existing South African law expressly provides that the research organisation receiving such public funding has the right to own the intellectual property resulting from that research and that research participants are not entitled to intellectual property rights by reason of their participation in the research [18]. Mahomed S, Labuschaigne M. The role of research ethics boards in South Africa in the transfer of human biology material between institutions. S Afr J Bioethics and Law. 2019; 12:84-7. doi.org/10.7196/SAJBL.2019.v12i2.685. First, in order to reduce the transaction costs associated with trading custom ASAs, several attempts have been made to develop standardized ASAs for international use. Perhaps the best-known example is the Uniform Biological Material Transfer Agreement (UB MTA), developed by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in collaboration with research institutes. The UB MTA has been in service for more than a generation and has been taken over by 684 institutions around the world [3].

An institution that takes over the UB MTA signs a framework contract that will be deposited in a central repository. Entities that are signatories to UB MTA for the transfer of material between them should only execute one standard implementation letter for each transfer [4]. The UB MTA was developed for the transfer of proprietary biological materials [5], but it should be noted that the NIH has also developed a stand-alone MTA model specifically designed for use in the transmission of human biological material [6]. In addition, a number of other reputable organizations have standardized ATMs. For example, the World Health Organization (WHO) uses standard material transfer agreement 2 (SMTA 2) for the exchange of human biology materials with institutions as part of its pandemic pandemic preparedness framework [7]. The provisions of MTA SA are not limited to the transmission of human biological materials, but contain rules on the transmission of the corresponding data. In sa mta ([13] paragraph 2.13), human biological matter and associated data are collectively referred to as “materials” – the first letter is capitalized to indicate that the word is defined as defined and is not used in its ordinary sense. However, the minister`s statement on the government bulletin board refers to “biological matter” in lowercase, indicating that these words have their ordinary meaning. It should also be noted that there is no indication in the Communication or its Annex (the SA MTA) that the definitions in the Annex apply to the Communication, which means that the supplier and the consignee are legally obliged to use the SA MTA only if the intended transfer contains “biological material” in its usual meaning. . .

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Posted Thursday, September 23rd, 2021 at 6:01 am
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