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Budapest Notification No. 327
Budapest Treaty on the International Recognition of the Deposit of Microorganisms for the Purposes of Patent Procedure

Communication by the Government of the Kingdom of Morocco Relating to the Acquisition of the Status of International Depositary Authority by the Moroccan Coordinated Collections of Microorganisms (CCMM)

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 the receipt from the Government of the Kingdom of Morocco, on January 10 and 17, 2018, of written communications dated November 28, 2017 and January 17, 2018, respectively, relating to the Moroccan Coordinated Collections of Microorganisms (CCMM), which state that this Depositary Institution is located on the territory of the Kingdom of Morocco and includes a Declaration of Assurances to the effect that the Institution complies and will continue to comply with the requirements concerning the acquisition of the status of International Depositary Authority 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.

Pursuant to Article 7(2)(b) of the treaty, the Moroccan Coordinated Collections of Microorganisms (CCMM) shall acquire the status of International Depositary Authority under the Budapest Treaty on February 20, 2018.

February 20, 2018

Text of the communications by the Kingdom of Morocco relating to the acquisition of the status of international depositary authority by the Moroccan Coordinated Collections of Microorganisms (CCMM)

[Original: French]

I have the honor to request that you allow the Moroccan Coordinated Collections of Microorganisms (CCMM), located in the National Center for Scientific and Technical Research (CNRST), to acquire the status of an International Depositary Authority (IDA), under Article 7(1) of the Budapest Treaty on the International Recognition of the Deposit of Microorganisms for the Purposes of Patent Procedure.

Accordingly, I have the honor to inform you that the Moroccan Office of Industrial and Commercial Property (OMPIC) furnishes the assurance that the CCMM fulfill and will continue to fulfill all conditions specified under Article 6(2) of the Budapest Treaty.

1. Name and address:

Collections Coordonnées Marocaines de Microorganismes, CCMM
Laboratoire de Microbiologie et Biologie Moléculaire, LMBM
Centre National pour la Recherche Scientifique et Technique, CNRST
Angle avenue Allal El Fassi, avenue des FAR, Quartier Hay Ryad
B.P. 8027 Nations Unies
10102 Rabat

Telephone: +212 5 37 77 86 76 or 56 98 10
Facsimile: +212 5 37 77 86 76 or 56 98 34
Website: www.ccmm.ma
E-mail: ccmm@cnrst.ma

2. Legal status

The Moroccan Coordinated Collections of Microorganisms (CCMM) are a central depository where microbiological material is preserved in Morocco. The CCMM were set up in 1988 and are located in the Laboratory of Microbiology and Molecular Biology (LMBM) of the National Center for Scientific and Technical Research located in Rabat. They are 90% funded by the Moroccan Government.

The CCMM were set up with the aid of a network of institutions that chose to deposit their microorganisms and all information relating thereto with them. These institutions include universities, research centers and service centers linked to several ministries in Morocco (for a full list of institutions, please see page 11 of the 2014 catalogue, available at www.ccmm.ma).

The network is formed around the CCMM, analysis platforms and innovation centers that arose as a result of the recently created R&D network for the utilization of Moroccan genetic and microbial resources (ReVarGEM).

The main aims of the CCMM are to:

- Share and exchange biological resources and information relating to preserved microorganisms and pool experience and expertise in the field of fundamental and applied biology and biotechnology;

- Provide a link between Moroccan universities, research centers and bio-industries in order to promote research into, protection of and the rational use of Moroccan microbial biodiversity;

- Provide a quality service to partners and users in the scientific and industrial communities;

- Ensure the safe deposit of microorganisms.

The CCMM were admitted as an affiliate member of the World Federation for Culture Collections (WFCC) in 2013 and became the first African collections to be included in the Global Catalogue of Microorganisms (GCM) http://gcm.wfcc.info/cclist.

At present, the CCMM comprise 2,090 microorganisms (bacteria, yeasts and fungi) mainly stemming from the various ecosystems, biotopes and products of Moroccan origin. These microorganisms are identified and characterized by scientists at the LMBM and Moroccan researchers who deposit them with the CCMM. The second edition of the Catalogue of Microbial Resources of the CCMM, which was published in 2014, contains 1,451 strains belonging to 220 different species (135 bacterial species, 51 species of fungi and 34 yeast species). The CCMM website (www.ccmm.ma) contains detailed information on the services they provide, in addition to a constantly updated database of available microorganisms. The CCMM furnish the national scientific community with more than 40 cultures per year. They also host an average of 4 students who complete their final degree projects or doctoral theses. This enables new strains to be isolated and identified, and enriches the collections.

In December 2017, the CCMM contained:

Types of microorganisms Number of strains
Bacteria 1,775
Yeasts 142
Fungi 173
Total 2,090

3. Equipment, facilities, safety and security

The CCMM are housed in a laboratory area of 500 square meters. CCMM laboratories are spacious and equipped with modern facilities enabling the cultivation, verification and long-term preservation of microorganisms. Cultures are preserved according to two methods: cryopreservation at -80°C and freeze-drying. Unsporulated fungi are preserved in water or mineral oil. The CCMM preserve microorganisms in a safe room and only authorized personnel are allowed to access the collections. The confidential information contained in the database is protected by a personal password system. Access to the strictly confidential information relating to the collections is reserved solely for staff members who deal with the collections.

The CCMM infrastructure comprises the following facilities:

- Microbiology Laboratory containing the required facilities and equipment to isolate, cultivate, identify and characterize microorganisms (European-standard benches, optical microscope with camera, colony counters), in addition to two freeze-dryers which are used to freeze-dry the microorganisms and guarantee year-long preservation. Special equipment is also provided to guarantee the safety and security of staff members and ensure aseptic conditions (safety and security units, laminar flue hoods);

- Molecular Biology Laboratory. In order to enable the manipulation of microorganism genetic material, the laboratory is fitted with devices that are specifically designed for the purposes of extraction, treatment (heating block, water bath, speed vacuum, centrifuges, vortex, NanoDrop, safety and security units with ultra violet systems), amplification (thermal cyclers, real-time PCRs) and visualization of nucleic acids (Gel Imaging System). The laboratory is also provided with an ultrapure water production system which is essential for molecular biology analyses.

The CCMM are also equipped with three rooms:

- Preparation Room containing equipment that is used to prepare culture media (scales, agitator, heating plate), and supplies such as glass labware;

- Sterilization and Wash Room fitted with two autoclaves in order to sterilize culture media, and a wet bench;

- Microorganism Preservation Room containing a +4°C refrigerator for storage of freeze-dried strains and four -80°C ultra-refrigerators for storage of cryopreserved strains in glycerol. Each ultra-refrigerator is fitted with a GSM alarm which issues an alert if the power is cut or the temperature rises. The room is also equipped with two air conditioners in order to maintain room temperature at +20°C.

The CCMM are also provided with a bioinformatics room for storage and processing of data, using licensed software (GelCompar, BioNumerics, API web).

In addition, the CCMM are furnished with a functional genomics platform which is linked to the Scientific Research Technical Support units (UATRS) of the CNRST. This platform is fitted out with all of the requisite equipment to conduct molecular biology analyses, and includes an automatic grinder, chemical hood, NanoDrop spectrophotometer, qubit spectrophotometer, microplate reader, capillary electrophoresis device, bioanalyzer, 16-capillary sequencer, next generation sequencer (in common with the CCMM infrastructure), real-time PCR, conventional PCR, oligo-synthesizer, automated oligo purification system, pipetting robot, extractor robot and a Gel Photo documentation system.

4. Staff

The dedicated staff dealing with the identification and preservation of microorganisms can be divided up into two groups:

- The actual staff consists of a Professor of higher education, who is the manager of the LMBM laboratory; a microbiologist and quality officer: a Curator of the CCMM; an assistant professor specialized in molecular microbiology and biology, a research staff, a bioinformatician, a laboratory technician, a lawyer, a secretary, two PhD students and two masters students;

- Support platform staff consists of a Professor of higher education functional genomics platform; two Doctors in Molecular Biology and an engineer.

CCMM personnel are specially trained to carry out scientific and administrative tasks, as specified under the Budapest Treaty, i.e.:

- General coordination and management;

- Collection of samples and isolation of microorganisms;

- Preservation and viability testing of microorganisms;

- Scientific studies: identification, classification and characterization of bacteria, fungi and yeasts;

- Administrative tasks relating to the deposit and distribution of microorganisms;

- Equipment maintenance.

5. Kind of microorganisms accepted for deposit

The CCMM accept all types of bacterial strains, including actinomycetes, fungi and yeasts. The CCMM do not accept microorganisms above Hazard Group 2 of the "U.K. Advisory Committee on Dangerous Pathogens".

6. Offices

CCMM staff members are provided with 8 offices and a library.

7. Requirements and procedures

Generally speaking, the CCMM only accept strains that can be cultured in conditions that are technically feasible. In exceptional cases, the CCMM may accept deposits of mixtures of microorganisms, but undefined or non-identifiable mixtures are automatically excluded. However, the acceptance of mixtures of microorganisms is subject to decision and the fees related thereto must be fixed on a case-by-case basis after prior negotiation with the potential depositor.

The CCMM also reserve the right to refuse a deposit of microbiological material if the preservation thereof poses an excess risk.

Under Rule 6.3(a) of the Regulations under the Budapest Treaty, before the deposit of a microorganism can be accepted, the CCMM requires the following:

- The microorganism must be deposited in the form and quantity necessary for the CCMM to fulfill their obligations under the Regulations of the Budapest Treaty;

- A form established by the CCMM and duly completed by the depositor for the purposes of the administrative procedures of such authority must be furnished;

- The written statement referred to in Rule 6.1(a) or 6.2(a) must be drafted correctly in French or English;

- The fee for storage referred to in Rule 12.1(a)(i) must be paid;

- The depositor must obtain all of the required authorizations for transportation and deposit;

- The depositor must provide : 3 active or freeze-dried cultures, whereby one of the said cultures must undergo a viability test and is subsequently used to prepare a minimum stock of 20 samples of cryopreserved and/or 20 vials of freeze-dried cells.

Under the Regulations of the Budapest Treaty, the CCMM:

- Test the viability and morphology of each deposit and ensure the preservation thereof;

- Furnish receipts, statements of viability and other official notifications, where appropriate;

- Comply with the requirement of secrecy under Rule 9.2;

- Store samples under the appropriate conditions and in conformity with the prescribed procedure.

8. Official languages

The official languages of the CCMM are Arabic, French and English.

 9. Schedule of fees      DH
(a) Preservation 3,325
(b) Issuance of a viability statement:  
- When the viability test is performed 300
- Based on the previous viability test 150
(c) Furnishing of a sample 500
(d) Communication of information 150
(e) Issue of an attestation of amendment of the scientific description and/or taxonomic description 200
(f) Preparation of a batch of freeze-dried microorganisms for long-term storage (applicable only if the depositor does not provide freeze-dried microorganisms) 2,000

The above-mentioned fees do not include transportation costs and bank charges.