Commercial Use

ATCC readily recognizes the potential utility of ATCC products in commercial applications. To help meet that need, ATCC has set up an out-licensing program that allows institutions to use ATCC products for commercial purposes under a non-exclusive license agreement. While ATCC views the Material Transfer Agreement (MTA) as an essential part of distributing its biological materials, the licensing program for commercial use of ATCC materials helps protect the ability of ATCC to supply research materials for the benefit of the scientific community.

According to the ATCC MTA, Commercial use is “the sale, license, lease, export, transfer or other distribution of the Biological Materials to a person or entity not party to this MTA for financial gain or other commercial purposes and/or the use of the Biological Material: (a) to provide a service to a person or entity not party to this MTA for financial gain; (b) to produce or manufacture products for general sale or products for use in the manufacture of products ultimately intended for general sale; or (c) in connection with proficiency testing service(s), including but not limited to, providing the service of determining laboratory performance by means of comparing and evaluating calibrations or tests on the same or similar items or materials in accordance with predetermined conditions.”

Possible commercial uses of ATCC products that lie outside the scope of the MTA allowed through the ATCC licensing program include:

  • Sterility testing
  • Vaccine manufacture
  • Human pharmaceuticals
  • Food & beverage manufacture 
  • Clinical diagnostics
  • QA/QC biological release, potency, viral clearance and/or product development assays
  • Wastewater treatment and septic additives
  • Contract pharmaceutical manufacture
  • Drug development
  • Contract research — drug discovery, preclinical services, screening
  • Medical devices
  • Nutraceuticals
  • Gene expression databases
  • Genome sequencing instrumentation
  • High-throughput technologies
  • Proficiency testing
  • Research reagents and tools
  • Toxicology testing
  • Veterinary pharmaceuticals


Technologies Available for Licensing

Many ATCC Materials in the general collection are available for inclusion in a commercial use license. We perform IP and distribution rights assessments of the materials on a per request basis. Frequently requested ATCC technologies/materials available for use in commercial licenses include the following cell lines:

The licensing program for commercial use of ATCC products and use of the MTA for ATCC products in research both help protect the ability of ATCC to supply reference standards for the benefit of the scientific community.

For information about commercial use of ATCC materials please consult the ATCC catalog page for the material in which you are interested, and then contact the Intellectual Property, Licensing and Services Department at