The DSMZ was recognized by the World Intellectual Property Organization as an International Depositary Authority according to the Budapest Treaty for the deposit of animal and human cell cultures on 28 February 1991.
The deposit form must be completed and submitted to the DSMZ together with information regarding delivery at least 72 hours before dispatch. The form requests the name and address of the depositor, an identification reference of the cell culture, a listing of properties of the material which may be hazardous to health or environment (potential pathogenicity), an indication whether and how the cells have been genetically manipulated, and details for cultivation and storage of the material.
Cell cultures (including hybridomas) are accepted on the condition that they can be preserved without significant change or loss of properties by freezing and long-term storage. Deposits are only accepted in the form of frozen ampoules. The DSMZ requires 12 ampoules (all prepared at the same time) containing at least 5 x 106 cells per ampoule (cells growing in suspension) and 2 x 106 cells per ampoule (adherent cells). It is the responsibility of the depositor to furnish sufficient quantity for the specified period of time and to replenish the stock, if needed and if cell cultures should be lost during the period of storage prescribed by the Budapest Treaty.
Deposits under the Budapest Treaty must be tested for viability. The DSMZ will examine at least one ampoule for viability and possible contamination by other organisms (in particular by mycoplasmas). This procedure usually requires about two weeks. It is advisable to submit cell cultures grown in medium free from any antibiotics which might mask a latent infection. Non-viable or infected cell cultures will not be accepted for patent deposit. In the case of deposit rejection, the costs of the tests will be charged to the depositor.
On final acceptance, the DSMZ will hold the deposits under the terms and conditions of the Budapest Treaty for 30 years. The DSMZ will issue written Statements of Acceptance and of Viability. The date of receipt becomes the deposit date. A DSMZ number will be assigned to the cell culture.
The depositor must pay the statutory fee; an invoice covering the fee will be sent. An additional processing fee to cover bank charges is payable on all foreign orders. The depositor is responsible for transportation costs ensuing from delivery of deposits to the DSMZ. An appropriate amount of dry ice for the period of transportation should be used. The imminent delivery should be announced to the DSMZ.
Cell lines contaminated with mycoplasma cannot be accepted for patent deposit. We offer the service of mycoplasma elimination (for price see the current price list). Contaminated cell cultures will be treated with antibiotics active against mycoplasmas. Our success rate is in the range of 70-85% of the cultures; the remaining percentages refer to cultures remaining mycoplasma positive (resistant strains or development of resistance) or cell cultures lost due to cytostatic or cytotoxic effects of the reagents.
In order to ensure that indeed long-term cleansing of the cultures has occurred, the cell lines will be subjected to rigorous retesting using PCR analysis. We cannot give any guarantee for successful treatment of mycoplasma infection. However, as any treatment involves a large amount of work, reagents and time, we must ask for reimbursement of 50% of the full price of mycoplasma elimination in the case of a failed attempt.
For references detailing the methods used at the DSMZ for mycoplasma detection and treatment, see Mycoplasma Detection and Elimination.