Swiss Biobanking Platform and Swiss Personalized Health Network: publication of two key documents for researchers
Swiss Biobanking Platform and Swiss Personalized Health Network have worked in close collaboration to deliver Material Transfer Agreement and Data Transfer and Use Agreement templates to facilitate material and data exchange in the context of academic research projects.
Swiss Biobanking Platform (SBP) is the national coordination platform for human and non-human biobanks, which supports the research community for the optimal usage of its biological resources by promoting quality and harmonization of practices. Swiss Personalized Health Network (SPHN) contributes to the development, the implementation and the validation of the infrastructure that is required to make health-related data interoperable and shareable across Switzerland.
Biological material and health data belong to citizens whose interests deserve to be protected. Indeed, these individuals have given their consent for their samples and health data to be used for research. This donation to science is based on the trust that these people place in researchers. In order to be able to exchange samples and data for research projects between institutions, a Material Transfer Agreement (MTA) and/or Data Transfer and Use Agreement (DTUA) are required.
The MTA and DTUA are key regulatory requirements that define the rights, responsibilities and obligations of the Parties involved (e.g. Provider, Recipient, Processor) regarding permitted use, ownership, publications, intellectual property and liability when biological material and/or data are being transferred or accessed in the frame of a project.
So far, Swiss universities (Basel, Bern, Geneva, Lausanne, Zurich), ETH-Domain institutions (EPFL, ETHZ), and the five University Hospitals have been using their specific MTA and DTUA templates. In order to facilitate research collaboration in Switzerland and as part of a national harmonization effort, SBP and SPHN have, together with the legal representatives of the above-mentioned institutions, developed common templates for both documents.
SBP and SPHN encourages their partners as well as anyone working with biological material or data in Switzerland to adopt these templates. Indeed, the same MTA and DTUA model will be used in the future by these institutions, which is a considerable added value. Notably, their use is limited to the exchange between academic institutions and is not suitable for the transfer to a for-profit organization.