Industrial Contracts Office
3000 El Camino Real

Building 5, Suite 300
Palo Alto, CA 94306

FOR INDUSTRY – MTA Information

Material Transfer Agreements (MTAs)
MTAs are contracts governing the transfer of tangible research property for pre-clinical research use. 

MTAs may be used in the following instances:

Incoming MTAs
Incoming MTAs govern the transfer of material from another entity to Stanford.  All MTAs to the University must be reviewed and signed by ICO.  If you are interested in sending material to a researcher at Stanford, please contact ICO at

Outgoing MTAs
Outgoing MTAs govern the transfer of materials from Stanford to researchers outside the University. Stanford encourages researchers to share their materials with colleagues without an MTA when possible. But MTA's are required for transfers of human tissues and CIRM-funded materials.  If the Stanford researcher wants to use an MTA to send materials, the template below may be used. 

Human Tissue Transfers
Stanford requires Human Tissue Transfer Agreements when human research specimens are transferred outside of Stanford.  These transfers must be approved by the University's Human Subjects Panels (IRB).

CIRM-Funded Materials

The California Institute for Regenerative Medicine (CIRM) requires an MTA to transfer research materials created using CIRM funds, and these transfers are reported to CIRM.

Human Stem Cells and Human Embryos
Research involving human adult, fetal, or embryonic stem cells or human embryos requires compliance with special state and federal regulations.  All human stem cell research projects must be reviewed and approved by Stanford’s Stem Cell Research Oversight Committee (SCRO). If you are interested in sending or receiving human stem cells or human embryos to a researcher at Stanford, please contact ICO at

Master MTAs
Master MTAs govern the ongoing transfer of material between Stanford and other organizations. The Master MTA terms and conditions remain the same for each material transferred.  The specifics of each transfer are documented in an Exhibit to the Master. Stanford has Master MTAs in place with Biogen, StemCells, Inc., Rigel Pharmaceuticals, Inc., Genentech, and Kosan Biosciences.


Who can sign an MTA?

ICO has signature authority on behalf of Stanford to sign MTAs.  PIs also sign incoming MTAs to acknowledge that they have read, understood and will uphold their obligations under the agreement. When PIs send their laboratory materials to other entities (except for human tissues, human stem cells and CIRM-funded materials), they are not required to use an MTA.  However, if they choose to use an MTA, they may personally sign the outgoing MTA and ICO does not need to sign it.

Who should I contact if I have questions about my company’s MTA?

Please call us at 650-723-0651, or email us at

Contact Us
Please feel free to call us at 650-723-0651 or email us at