Mastering Reagent Agreements – Improving Ease and Speed

In today’s challenging climate, technology transfer offices try new ways to increase the number of licenses executed and reduce the time from disclosure to license. Research tools (reagent) licenses are an area where many offices, including ours, can increase their efficiency and effectiveness in licensing. Unlike agreements for the software, medical devices, and therapeutics that make up much of our technology portfolio, research tools require little additional development, can be quickly commercialized, and generate revenue (albeit small when taken individually) in a short amount of time.

One particular strategy Emory’s OTT has employed is the use of a “Master” reagent agreement with companies that license, sell, and distribute reagents such as antibodies, plasmids, and cell lines. This “Master” agreement covers all the general provisions that would be included in any license such as liability, reporting, diligence, and confidentiality, but none of the financial terms. These terms then apply to all subsequent reagents or tools transferred to the company. This practice allows the university and reagent company to negotiate these terms upfront and only once, thus removing the time and burden of revisiting these terms with each individual tool is licensed to the company. In our model, each research tool or material licensed to the company is handled by a simple two page amendment/appendix to that “Master” agreement. This amendment covers the financial components (upfront, royalty, etc.), shipping, term, and quantity of that individual reagent but none of the general terms. Those general terms are simply handled by reference to the “Master” agreement already in place. Read more…

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