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Frequently Asked Questions


What are the benefits of repositing my strain with the APF?

There are a number of benefits of having the APF preserve and distribute your strain including the following:

  • Fulfills your obligation to share biomedical research resources developed under NCRIS.

  • 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.


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.  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.


How do I request strains from the APF?

After searching in APB database, the  Investigator should start the process with contacting the import and export coordinator and provide a signed MTA that describes the conditions associated with the use of strain and confirms the rights of the Investigator. It is the responsibility of the 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.


How can I obtain live mice from a repository in another country or region?

The APF is able to assist you with obtaining live mice at your institution. The APF can exchange cryopreserved mouse materials for reanimation by another repository and subsequent delivery of live animals.


What is required to submit a strain to the APF?

The Investigator must complete the web-based application form.


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, the APF offers a Restricted View option. As the  Investigator, you can request Restricted View Acces by selecting this option on the submission application.  If your submission is accepted, the APF can delay the 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.


Who can request mice from the APF?

The APF's purpose is to provide strains to 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.


How can the APF assist with importing mice from an overseas repository?

Generally cryopreserved materials are easier to import/export than live animals. The member repositories are familiar with the regulations and procedures affecting transfers between repositories, thus saving you and your institution this effort. Other repositories will ship the requested cryopreserved material to the APF, where reanimation is performed and then ship the recovered mice to your institution. Additionally, you may contract with the APF for any additional services you may require including additional breeding for specific quantities or genotypes of animals. The APF will charge a fee for cost recovery.


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. 


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.


Can I request additional mice than the standard availability level?

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. 

It 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.

APF 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; special breeding colonies must not impede the availability of the strain to other researchers.


As a researcher from another country, how can I best 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 reanimated.

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