The Genome Worldwide Association

The Genome Worldwide Association provides a method for discovering genetic changes that are involved in prevalent diseases, however the research are fraught with difficulties. We will investigate these challenges in terms of protecting the researcher's interests as well as collaborative genomic research by raising concerns about sample ownership, export, and usage of archival samples. The Material Transfer Agreement is a research project agreement between two parties that specifies the exact nature of the work required on the resources provided by one party. It should ideally include the following specifications. The materials required for transfer, the detailed work to be done, the situation of the material storage, people needed to work with the samples, collaboration duration, the agreements about sharing of data as well as analysis collaboration and finally the process to agree on other works not covered on the MTAs. They are essential means of protecting the researcher’s interest on the collection and supply of the samples.

In most organizations, MTAs are instrumental when it comes to addressing concerns of the ethics committee concerning ownership, sample re-use as well as long-term storage. MTAs play a crucial role in the organization of the legal duty within the research process. But also, it is difficult to accommodate the challenges mentioned above especially issues perceived as non-legal ownership over the DNA, the concern whether a particular population genetics relates to itself as well as whether they have played for long in the genomics and genetic research (Rossi, et al. 52). Moreover, where research on genomics happens in the resource inequality context between the research associates, the sample concentration and resource in specific partner raises questions about ethical oversight, fairness, benefit sharing as well as the long-term capacity development at every research centers.

In these ethical issues, some other tactics can be used to address them beside the research contracts and the MTAs. Such techniques include developing a network that can bring about the capacity building where young researchers from all the partner sites can be trained in the genomic data analysis. Another one is that the systems should recognize the need of enabling all the contributing researchers to analyze their data before making it available to the public and incorporating them into the organization’s data release policy. The third tactic is that network should seek to come up with software that can allow the remote analysis of the genomic data; meaning that, the organization's researchers at any location worldwide can use the capacity to analyze the data without investing in the expensive in-house structures for data storage and analysis. Funding should also be provided for the students to explore issues related to the collection, holding capacity as well as the export of the biological samples and also to work towards developing the recommendation on the best practices.

From the lessons learned in class, we can derive some foundational principles to make the future of MTAs in the biological sector. Such policies include keeping the deposit and the MTAs distribution as uncomplicated as possible to ensure that organizations monitor and implement their terms. Another principle is making sure that the risk management should be directly proportionate to the benefit type (Parodi et al. 327). The third is that agencies should not try to overreach their interests through claims because such terms are problematic to the intellectual property policy and the negotiation efforts. Most likely, they shall cause a delay to the final agreement execution.

The national institute (NIH) of health came up with a simplified system to share nonproprietary materials between the research institutes. Up to date, more than 530 institutions, especially in the United States, are signatories to this Uniform Biological Material Transfer Agreement (UBMTA). Other models that exist include the Jackson Laboratory (JAX) as well as the structural genomics consortium (SGC). SGC is a nonprofit public-private organization for providing 3-D biological structures for the human being proteins and also probes for the drug development. It also distributes surveys under the MTA with four explanations that state the use of the laboratory investigation (Roach, 6).

NIH archives some of its data which helps in situations that have a tedious large number of samples as well as characterized phenotypes, such things are time consuming and labor intensive even where the health systems are well resourced. Furthermore, conditions and lack of infrastructures in some hospitals cannot be conducive for rapid collection of large samples needed for genomic studies. From all these challenges, it is clear that sometimes researchers have to rely on the archived samples (Bubela). In the end, MTA terms should be well monitored to ensure effectiveness or even unearth any noncompliance of either party.

Because MTAs are crucial mediators to in the data exchange and the generated materials while using the public funds, it is essential that they should be structured in the guidelines and policies that encourage as well as foster community norms. Today, MTAs are complicated and with protracted negotiations thus creating transactional problems that discourage sharing and they are less likely to be enforced or even monitored. On the other hand, standard and straightforward agreements reduce the researcher's administrative burdens and also to the institutions as well as the repositories. Organizations should ensure they have simple contracts in cases of low risks and noncommercial benefits. Then, they can focus energies on the warranted complex agreements primarily on the clinical applications.

Work cited

Rossi, Jennifer. "Streamlining the MTA Process to Alleviate the Burden on Technology Transfer Offices and Facilitate the Dissemination of Research Tools." Technology Transfer and Entrepreneurship 3.1 (2016): 52-55.

Parodi, Barbara, et al. "Governance of biobanks for cancer research: proposal for a material transfer agreement." Comparative Issues in the Governance of Research Biobanks. Springer Berlin Heidelberg, 2013. 327-332.

Bubela, Tania, Jenilee Guebert, and Amrita Mishra. "Use and misuse of material transfer agreements: Lessons in proportionality from research, repositories, and litigation." PLoS biology 13.2 (2015): e1002060.

Roach, Allana N., et al. "Addressing ethical challenges in the Genetics Substudy of the National Eye Survey of Trinidad and Tobago (GSNESTT)." Applied & translational genomics 9 (2016): 6-14.

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