Frequently Asked Questions
- What are the benefits to me of repositing my strain with the APF?
- What is required to submit a candidate strain to the APF?
- Does the APF accept all murine strains?
- Who reviews my strain submission?
- Does the APF create new strains for distribution?
- How long does it take for a strain to become available for distribution?
- I have not yet published my research about my new strain and am not ready to release my strain to others. Will the APF still consider taking my strain?
- What is an MTA?
- Can I alter the terms of the MTA to address concerns of my institution's technology transfer official?
- Who can request mice from the APF?
- How do I request mutants and samples from the APF?
- How much will it cost?
- Why do the mice cost so much?
- What does the Cryo-recovery Fee cover?
- If I request additional mice after receiving mice through a cryo-recovery, must I pay an additional cryo-recovery fee?
- Why is the maximum number of mice that can be requested at one time so small?
- Can I request more than the numbers specified in the standard availability level?
- Can I request large quantities of APF mice?
- Is it possible to obtain cryopreserved material from the APF instead of live mice?
- How can I obtain live mice from a repository in another country or region?
- As an Australian researcher, how can the APF assist me in importing mice from an overseas repository?
- As a researcher in another country, how best can I obtain APF mice as live animals?
- When obtaining mice via an affiliated FIMRe repository, are there additional restrictions or limitations placed on the mice?
1. What are the benefits to me of repositing my strain with the APF?
There are a number of benefits to you, the donor, of having the APF preserve and distribute your strain:
- Fulfills your obligation to share biomedical research resources developed under NHMRC, NIH and Wellcome Trust funded grants.
- Frees up animal housing resources.
- Reduces per diem costs.
- Preserves and maintains your strain in a cryopreserved archive.
- Eliminates the shipment of mice to multiple requesting investigators.
- Assists other investigators.
- Prevents duplication of resources.
2. What is required to submit a candidate strain to the APF?
The Donating Investigator must complete the web-based application form and the accompanying genotyping form. Once the strain is accepted the donating investigator must submit APF's Donor Material Transfer Agreement signed by the donating investigator and an authorized official of their institution (e.g., a Technology Transfer Coordinator), and provide a recent Health Status Report for the strain's colony.
3. Does the APF accept all murine strains?
No. The APF is a repository and distributor for unique genetically modified murine strains developed primarily by researchers. The APF considers candidate strains submitted by researchers for preservation and distribution. Those determined to have sufficient or potential scientific value are accepted for importation, maintenance and distribution by the system.
4. Who reviews my strain submission?
The APF's Science Advisory and Access Committee (SAAC) makes the decision based on information in the application and any provided papers.
5. Does the APF create new strains for distribution?
Yes. The APF provides the facilities to for investigators to conduct screening of ENU-induced mutagenesis programs. Mutants identified from these screens are deposited into the Phenome Bank.
6. How long does it take for a strain to become available for distribution?
Varies for each strain. Factors affecting the total time include:
- time to obtain information about the candidate strain;
- time to conduct the review;
- time for the Donating Investigator to provide the necessary documents and ship the mice;
- time to import, genotype and cryopreserve the strain.
7. I have not yet published my research about my new strain and am not ready to release my strain to others. Will the APF still consider taking my strain?
Yes. To encourage investigators to submit their valuable strains sooner, the APF offers a Delayed Release option. As the Donating Investigator, you may request Delayed Release by briefly explaining your need on your submission application. This allows the APF to make your strain available to other researchers sooner after you are able to publish your research about the new strain. If your submission is accepted, the APF can delay release of your strain until your publication date for up to a maximum of 2 years. You may request earlier release and you must inform the APF of the date of publication of your research on or before your publication date. Pursuant to policy, the APF will make your strain available as soon as feasible after the delay period. (For more information, see Delayed Release page.)
8. What is an MTA?
The abbreviation stands for Material Transfer Agreement. It is an agreement between a provider and a recipient for transfer of materials. The APF uses MTAs as the formal instrument for transferring mouse strains from Donors to the APF and from the APF to Recipients. The MTA states the terms and use limitations imposed by the provider on the recipient. (See APF MTAs for additional information.)
9. Can I alter the terms of the MTA to address concerns of my institution's technology transfer official?
No. Custom written MTAs and alterations to the APF MTAs would create much confusion and additional administrative burdens on the APF and other parties in the distribution process, thus impeding the acquisition and distribution of strains for the research community. These MTAs were developed after consultation with other mouse respoitories. We believe the current MTAs are effective agreements for sharing of these research resources for internal, non-commercial research purposes, which achieve the appropriate balance for both the donor and the recipient. (See APF MTAs for additional information.)
10. Who can request mice from the APF?
The APF's purpose is to provide these strains to bona fide biomedical researchers. Therefore, most recipients will be associated with a recognized biomedical or genetics research institution. All recipients are required to conform their research to all applicable statues and regulations, including all applicable federal statutes and Public Health Service policies relating to the use and care of laboratory animals. The donating investigator or their institution may have restricted distribution of their strain to non-profit institutions. The APF's Strain Catalog and Strain Detail Sheets indicate this restriction where applicable.
11. How do I request mutants and samples from the APF?
After searching the Australian Phenome Bank, the Requesting Investigator should start the process with the Request Mutant Strain Form and sign a Material Transfer Agreement provided by the APF that describes the conditions associated with the use of mutants and samples and confirms the rights of the Depositing Investigator. It is the responsibility of the Requesting Investigator to obtain appropriate licenses for any relevant patents if necessary. Requests will be fulfilled by dispatching frozen mutants and samples using cryo-material shipping containers or live animals, according to the user's requirements. Frozen samples will be shipped by an overnight carrier and the cryo-shipping container should be returned as soon as possible to the APF for there is always a demand.
12. How much will it cost?
Please refer to the APF pricing list.
13. Why do the mice cost so much?
The APF does not focus on high-demand strains with commercial potential to make a profit, but instead, focuses on strains with low-demand but potential value to biomedical research. The APF invests substantial time and resources to import, cryopreserve and establish a strain colony; these procedures are expensive. The volume of mice distributed is small. In general, the distribution fee for a mouse is less than the fee would have to be to recover the investment. Thus, the APF is providing a subsidized service to the research community for internal non-commercial research purposes with fees to address the APF's costs. Without NHMRC funding, most of these strains would not be preserved and could not be distributed to biomedical researchers.
14. What does the Cryo-recovery Fee cover?
The cryo-recovery fee offsets the costs of resuscitating mice from a cryo-archive and replenishing the depleted material. The requesting investigator will receive the litter recovered.
15. If I request additional mice after receiving mice through a cryo-recovery, must I pay an additional cryo-recovery fee?
That depends on the continued availability of a live breeding colony. Since the recovered litter is transferred to the requesting investigator, normally there would not be additional animals available -- unless the facility is breeding more animals to replenish the cryo archive. The APF's Phenome Bank Curator can assist you in determining the status of a live colony following cryo-recovery.
16. Why is the maximum number of mice that can be requested at one time so small?
The APF is not a commercial breeding facility and the strains in the repository are not in high enough demand to warrant a large production colony. To assure availability to other interested researchers, the APF limits requests to two pair of breeders, leaving the recipient to breed up a colony sufficient for their research needs.
17. Can I request more than the numbers specified in the standard availability level?
The APF's Phenome Bank Curator and Management team will determine whether the APF can fulfill your request for additional animals.
18. Can I request large quantities of APF mice?
No, but at its discretion, the APF facility may negotiate with you or your institution to establish a contractual custom breeding colony for a fee. The arrangements are negotiated directly with the supplying APF facility; such special breeding colonies must not impede the availability of the strain to other researchers.
19. Is it possible to obtain cryopreserved material from the APF instead of live mice?
Yes, if the distributing APF has cryopreserved stocks of this strain. You must provide evidence that your laboratory or institution is capable of handling cryo-material.
20. How can I obtain live mice from a repository in another country or region?
As a member of Federation of International Mouse Resources (FIMRe), the APF is able to assist you with obtaining live mice at your institution. FIMRe members can exchange cryopreserved mouse materials for reanimation by another repository and subsequent delivery of live animals.
21. As an Australian researcher, how can the APF assist me in importing mice from an overseas repository?
Generally, cryopreserved materials are easier to export and import than live animals and the member repositories are familiar with the regulations and procedures affecting transfers between repositories, saving you and your institution this effort. Member FIMRe repositories will ship the requested cryopreserved material to the APF. The APF will reanimate the material and ship the recovered mice to your institution. Additionally, you may contract with the APF for any additional services you may require including genotyping or additional breeding for specific quantities or genotypes of animals. The APF will charge a fee to recover costs.
22. As a researcher in another country, how best can I obtain APF mice as live animals?
If you or your institution is able to reanimate live mice from cryopreserved materials, you may request distribution as cryopreserved material. If you are not able to perform the reanimation, you may arrange with a FIMRe member repository to perform the reanimation for you and with the APF to have cryopreserved materials shipped to the member repository of your choice for reanimation. The APF will also ship live animals once rederived.
23. When obtaining mice via an affiliated FIMRe repository, are there additional restrictions or limitations placed on the mice?