Budapest Notification No. 104
Budapest Treaty on the International Recognition of the Deposit of Microorganisms for the Purposes of Patent Procedure

Communication of the Kingdom of Belgium Relating to the Acquisition of the Status of International Depositary Authority by the Belgian Coordinated Collections of Microorganisms (BCCM)

The Director General of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) presents his compliments to the Minister for Foreign Affairs and has the honor to notify him of the receipt, on January 21, 1992, of a written communication, dated December 27, 1991, from the Government of the Kingdom of Belgium, relating to the Belgian Coordinated Collections of Microorganisms (BCCM), indicating that the said depositary institution is located on the territory of the Kingdom of Belgium and including a declaration of assurances to the effect that the said institution complies and will continue to comply with the requirements concerning the acquisition of the status of international depositary authority as specified in Article 6(2) of the Budapest Treaty on the International Recognition of the Deposit of Microorganisms for the Purposes of Patent Procedure, done at Budapest on April 28, 1977, and amended on September 26, 1980.

In accordance with Article 7(1)(b) of the Budapest Treaty, the Belgian Coordinated Collections of Microorganisms (BCCM) will acquire the status of international depositary authority under the Budapest Treaty as from March 1, 1992, the date indicated in the said communication as the date on which that status should take effect.

February 12, 1992


Text of the Written Communication of the Government of the Kingdom of Belgium, dated December 27, 1991, Relating to the Acquisition of the status of International Depositary Authority by the Belgian Coordinated Collections of Microorganisms (BCCM)

[Translation]

In accordance with Article 7 of the Budapest Treaty on the International Recognition of the Deposit of Microorganisms for the Purposes of Patent Procedure and in accordance with Rule 3 of the Regulations of the said Treaty, I have the honor to send you a declaration containing assurances to the effect that BCCM complies and will continue to comply with the requirements specified in Article 6(2) of the said Treaty as from March 1, 1992.

This declaration is made for the purpose of acquisition by BCCM of the status of international depositary authority.

Acquisition of the Status of International Depositary Authority

BELGIAN COORDINATED COLLECTIONS OF MICROORGANISMS (BCCM)

1. Declaration

As provided for by Article 7 of the Budapest Treaty on the International Recognition of the Deposit of Microorganisms for the Purposes of Patent Procedure, the Belgian Government nominates the Belgian Coordinated Collections of Microorganisms (hereinafter referred to as "BCCM") as an international depositary authority.

The BCCM complies and will continue to comply with all the requirements specified in Article 6(2) of the Treaty.

This declaration is made for the purpose of acquisition by BCCM of the status of international depositary authority.

2. Name and Address of the Depositary Institution

BCCM is a consortium of complementary service collections. the headquarters and the various component collections (in alphabetical order) are as follows:

Headquarters: Belgian Coordinated Collections of Microorganisms
Prime Minister's Services
Science Policy Office
Rue de la Science 8
B-1040 BRUSSELS
Belgium
Telephone: +32-2-23 83 411
Fax: +32-2-23 05 912

Important Note:

All applications and/or deposits under the Budapest Treaty are to be addressed to the BCCM Collection concerned.

Collections:

Institut d'Hygiène et d'Epidémiologie-Mycologie
(Collection referred to hereinafter as "IHEM")
Rue J. Wytsman 14
B-1050 BRUSSELS
Belgium
Telephone: +32-2-64 25 630
Fax: +32-2-64 25 519

Universiteit Gent
Laboratorium voor Moleculaire Biologie-Plasmidencollectie
(Collection referred to hereinafter as "LMBP")
K.L. Ledeganckstraat 35
B-9000 GHENT
Belgium
Telephone: +32-91-64 51 45
Fax: +32-91-64 53 48

Universiteit Gent
Laboratorium voor Microbiologie-Bacteriënverzameling
(Collection referred to hereinafter as "LMG")
K.L. Ledeganckstraat 35
B-9000 GHENT
Belgium
Telephone: +32-91-64 51 08
Fax: +32-91-64 53 46

Mycothèque de l'Université Catholique de Louvain
(Collection referred to hereinafter as "MUCL")
Place Croix du Sud 3
B-1348 LOUVAIN-LA-NEUVE
Belgium
Telephone: +32-10-47 37 42
Fax: +32-10-45 15 01

3. Detailed Information on the Capability of BCCM to Comply with the Requirements Specified in Article 6(2) of the Treaty

BCCM was established in 1983 by the Prime Minister's Services--Scientific Policy Programming (SPPS). The aim was to transform the complementary research collections, of a rather scientific interest, into a consortium of coordinated collections more open to the needs of the professionals, in science and industry, dealing with R&D problems and matters related to microbiology, in fields as varied as health, agriculture, education, food, chemistry, energy and the environment.

The funding of the consortium is largely provided by the Belgian Government and is supplemented by logistic support from the host institutions housing the BCCM collections and by revenue from a whole range of services such as, for example, distribution, deposit, isolation, identification, screening and characterization of strains, description of strains with a view to patenting; bio-audits of work and production locations; training; tests of biodeterioration, resistance and biological activity, and other types of tailored contract research.

The BCCM collections are all members of WFCC (World Federation of Culture Collections), ECCO (European Culture Collections Organization) and MINE (Microbial Information Network Europe).

The following information concerns the BCCM collections in alphabetical order:

- The IHEM collection is a collection of filamentous fungi and yeasts officially established in 1980 at the Institut d'Hygiène et d'Epidémiologie (IHE) when the Mycology Laboratory was set up. It specializes in biomedical and environmental. mycology. The origins of the collection go back to 1946 when Professor R. Vanbreuseghem created one of the first culture collections of fungi pathogenic for man and animals. IHEM is registered with the World Data Center under number 642.

IHE is a Belgian State scientific establishment acting as central laboratory for the Ministry of Health and the Environment and whose origins go back to 1897. It has a staff of approximately 400 persons. Until 1988, the Institute was financed by the national authorities. Since 1989, it has been jointly financed by the national, local and regional authorities.

The Mycology Section of the Institut d'Hygiène et d'Epidémiologie to which the IHEM collection is attached, currently employs one Head of the Mycology Section, four established graduate staff, one of whom is in charge of the collection, one graduate under contract in relation to the collection, plus four graduate members recruited within the framework of the Mycology Section's research activities, one technician attached part time to the collection and one typist.

The premises of the IHEM collection have a total surface area of 500 m2. They comprise locked premises for freeze-drying, programmed cryogenic conservation and culture conservation (agar slant tubes, mineral oil conservation, freeze-dried ampoules and cryogenically conserved ampoules). The laboratory possesses the conventional infrastructure required for carrying out mycology work, particularly the handling of all classes of pathogenic organisms (layered flow), for the large-scale production of fungi raw material (biofermenters) and for carrying out immunology and molecular taxonomy research programs: protein electrophoresis, immuno-electrophoresis, PCR identification, DNA/RNA sequencing and computer-assisted analysis of the results. Where necessary, the collection can make use of further advanced scientific equipment available at IHE (electron microscope, chromatograph, etc.).

The current holdings of microorganisms comprise some 7,000 strains (5,500 fungi, 1,500 yeasts) which are growing at an annual rate of 1,000 strains (700 fungi, 300 yeasts).

- The LMBP collection of the Universiteit Gent (UG), University of the Flemish Community of Belgium, was established in 1977 as a collection of plasmids capable of replication in Escherichia coli, at the Laboratorium voor Moleculaire Biologie under Professor W. Fiers. LMBP is registered with the World Data Center under number 643.

LMBP presently comprises a director (academic) and one graduate staff member responsible full time for the collection. Additionally, one secretary post is shared between the LMBP and LMG collections. LMBP can call on the services of the scientific staff (71 persons, including 53 graduate staff) and also the infrastructure of the host laboratory (1,900m2 surface, including 200m2 for the collection).

The laboratory is specialized in molecular and cellular biology and genetic engineering, employing techniques such as fermentation (bacteria and yeasts), tissue culture, column chromatography, electrophoresis (PAGE and agarose), DNA/RNA sequencing, PCR, directed mutagenesis, heterologous expression of proteins in bacteria, yeasts, fungi and animal cells, purification of those proteins, gene cloning, RIA, ELISA, vector construction for transformation of bacteria, fungi, yeasts and animal cells.

The collection can also make use of the computer infrastructure of the host laboratory and of the LMG collection where needed to manage the plasmid data bank.

The plasmids and host/plasmid combinations belonging to the public collection are preserved in separate freezers (-80°C) and may be accessed only by the person in charge. The LMBP collection presently contains some 800 plasmids and 2,500 host/plasmid combinations.

- The LMG collection has existed continuously since the creation in 1946 of the Laboratorium voor Microbiologie under Professor J. De Ley at the Universiteit Gent (UG), University of the Flemish Community in Belgium. LMG is registered with the World Data Center under number 296.

LMG has a present staff of six persons, one director (academic), three graduates, two laboratory technicians. LMG also shares a secretary post with the LMBP collection. Additionally, the collection can use the services of the scientific staff of the host laboratory (40 persons, including 23 graduates), specialized in advanced microbiological taxonomy.

LMG uses the infrastructure of the host laboratory (1,200m2) in which all facilities are available for carrying out general and specialized techniques for microbiological research, particularly: controlled fermentation, advanced phenotypical analysis, cellular protein electrophoresis, gas chromatography analysis of fatty acids of cell membranes, determination of polyamines, determination of quinones, determination of G + C percentage, DNA/DNA hybridization, DNA/rRNA hybridization and several software programs for interpreting the experimental results.

LMG has exclusive use of two general and specialized microbiology laboratories, a computer room, a lecture room, an office, a locked room with air conditioning for conserving freeze-dried strains, a locked room with air conditioning for depositing the cryogenically conserved strains (total of 200m2).

The LMG collection currently contains some 11,000 strains of bacteria, a figure that grows by approximately 500 pure cultures a year.

As part of the European MINE (Microbial lnformation Network Europe) project, co-funded by the Commission of European Communities, LMG acts as a data integrating node for the data on the bacteria of the various collections affiliated to MINE and is in charge of the committee for harmonization of the data on bacterial strains.

MUCL was established in 1892 by Professor Ph. Biourge at the Université Catholique de Louvain, University of the French Community in Belgium, and was officially inaugurated on July 8, 1894. MUCL has been maintained without interruption since its creation as the collection of the Zymotechnical Laboratory of the School of Brewing of UCL and subsequently the collection of the Microbiology Laboratory, after 1941 under the name of Mycothèque Ph. Biourge and, since 1970, under its present name. MUCL has specialized in taxonomy, including biomolecular taxonomy, and in floristic, agricultural, foodstuffs, industrial, ecological and materials mycology. MUCL is registered with WDC under number 308.

MUCL is currently staffed by eight persons: one (academic), four graduates, two laboratory technicians and one secretary. The collection functions are supported by teaching and research, currently undertaken by the same academic, one graduate and one qualified technician.

The premises of the MUCL collection have a total of some 600m2. They comprise locked premises for storing cultures in mineral oil, in sterile water, for storage of strains in cryogenically conserved ampoules (programmable freezer and low-temperature freezer at -140°C) and for storing strains in freeze-dried ampoules (cold room at 4°C). The collection has available the infrastructure of the host laboratory needed for mycological research, particularly research in morphological taxonomy (optical and electronic microscopes), in chemotaxonomy, ecology, physiology and biochemistry of filamentous fungi and yeasts. The collection is equipped to advanced standards to work effectively in fields such as controlled biomass production, analysis of fermentational potential, biodegradability, conservation techniques (freeze-drying and programmed freezing), strain characterization by means of cellular protein electrophoresis (SDS--PAGE and IEF), determination of the spectrum of membrane fatty acids (gas chromatography), determination of coenzymes Q (high-pressure liquid chromatography), analysis of secondary metabolites (thin-layer chromatography), protoplast hybridization, determination of caryotype.

The MUCL collection currently contains over 19,000 strains of filamentous fungi (approximately 17,000) and yeasts (approximately 2,000), corresponding to a mycological herborium of 31,000 specimens of which half constitutes the origin for living strains. Up to the end of 1990, 110 strains, mostly yeast strains for the brewing industry, were deposited with MUCL for maintaining. The annual growth of the collection varies between 500 and 1,000 strains.

MUCL is in charge of the committees for harmonization of data on strains of filamentous fungi and of yeasts in MINE (Microbial Information Network Europe). MUCL participates in publication of the international periodical "Mycotaxon."

These presentations show that the various BCCM collections possess all the necessary features to ensure an adequate, professional response to the requirements set by the Budapest Treaty with respect to scientific, technical and administrative capacity.

All the deposits related to a patent made with a BCCM collection will undergo suitable treatment to ensure their viability and purity. Thus, all strains deposited under the Budapest Treaty will be conserved, where possible, both by cryogenic conservation (over liquid nitrogen or in a freezer at -140°C) and by freeze-drying. The plasmids in isolated DNA preparation form submitted for deposit with the LMBP Collection will be conserved in alcohol in a freezer at -80°C.

To avoid any loss or destruction, maximum security measures are provided:

1. conservation of strains in locked containers, freezers and drawers, themselves in locked premises;

2. storage of duplicates of the deposited material in a different place;

3. archiving of the data related to deposited strains both on standard forms stored under key and on adequately protected computer files (with backup).

In addition, whatever the method used to prepare sample lots for distribution, the BCCM Collection concerned will conserve a part of the original material submitted by the depositor.

BCCM will necessarily assume these functions under the Budapest Treaty in an impartial and objective manner and will be available to all depositors on the same conditions.

BCCM will not supply subcultures and/or information on deposited strains to third parties, except for depositors and parties referred to in Rule 11 of the Treaty. BCCM will issue to depositors a receipt and a viability statement for each strain accepted under the Treaty.

4. Types of Microorganisms Accepted for Deposit by the BCCM Collections

IHEM: filamentous fungi and yeasts, including pathogenic fungi and yeasts that cause mycosis in man and animals, and actinomycetes;

LMBP: plasmids as an isolated DNA preparation or plasmids in an Escherichia coli (host)/plasmid combination;

LMG: all bacterial strains, including actinomycetes, but excepting pathogens belonging to a hazard group higher than Group 2 of the UK Advisory Committee on Dangerous Pathogens;

MUCL: filamentous fungi and yeasts, including phytopathogens, but excepting pathogenic fungi causing mycosis in man and animals belonging to a hazard group higher than Group 2 of the UK Advisory Committee on Dangerous Pathogens.

By priority, depending on the nature of the strains, they will be cryogenically preserved and/or freeze-dried, and two plasmids will be conserved in alcohol at -80°C.

As a general rule, the BCCM Collections will accept only strains that can be placed in a culture under conditions technically feasible for the collection concerned and conserved, other than in continuous vegetative activity, without inducing significant changes in their characteristics.

Exceptionally, the various BCCM collections may accept deposits that cannot be conserved other than by active culture, but acceptance of such a deposit will have to be decided, and the relevant fee determined, on a case-by-case basis after prior negotiation with the potential depositor. They may also exceptionally accept, following the same case-by-case negotiation procedure, a deposit of mixtures of microorganisms, whereby non-defined or non-identifiable mixtures will be automatically excluded.

The BCCM collections also reserve their right to refuse a deposit of biological material whose conservation involves hazards deemed to be excessive.

5. Requirements Communicated under Rule 6.3 of the Regulations under the Budapest Treaty

As a general rule, the BCCM collections require in respect of the deposit of a microorganism (whether or not the host for a plasmid which is to be patented) under the Budapest Treaty:

(a) that a written statement by the depositor covering the information required by Rules 6.1 or 6.2 be made on form established by the relevant BCCM collection;

(b) that the fees laid down for storage be paid (Rule 12.1(a)(i));

(c) that the depositor supply: three active or freeze-dried cultures, one of which will be subjected to a viability test and subsequently serve to prepare a minimum stock of 20 samples of cryogenically conserved cells and/or 20 ampoules of freeze-dried cells;
or: 23 ampoules of freeze-dried cells of the sauce preparation, one of which will be subjected to a viability test and subsequently serve for the preparation of a minimum stock of 20 cryogenically conserved samples. (Rule 6.3(a)).

Plasmids in the form of an isolated DNA preparation must be furnished in freeze-dried form or precipitated in alcohol. A minimum of 2 x 20 microgrammes must be furnished with a degree of purity such that ready transformation is ensured (the recommended host must be stated and furnished, without the plasmid concerned).

6. Schedule of Fees

(a) Storage (Rule 9.1): 20,000 FB
(b) Issue of a viability statement (Rule 10.2):  
  - if the viability test is to be carried out: 2,000 FB
  - based on the last viability test: 800 FB
(c) Furnishing of a sample (Rule 11.2 and 11.3): 2,000 FB
(d) Communication of information under Rule 7.6: 800 FB
(e) Issue of an attestation of amendment of the scientific description and/or taxonomic designation of the microorganism in accordance with Rule 8.2: 800 FB

These prices do not include the cost of communication.

7. Official Languages

The official language of BCCM is English. However, communications are also accepted in German, French and Dutch.

8. Date of Entry into Force

Date on which the status of international depositary authority will enter into force (date to which Article 7.2(b) of the Treaty refers): March 1, 992.