Accessing the Celera Human Genome Sequence Data

Science's standing policy is that when a paper is published, archival data relevant to its results or methods must be deposited in a publicly accessible database. In compliance with our policy, the entire sequence is available free of charge from Celera's web site. All researchers, whether academic or commercial, may access the human genome data to verify, replicate or challenge findings published in the Venter et al. paper. The text of the full agreements can be viewed at the Celera web site. Here is a brief overview:

  • Academic users may access the sequence, do searches, download segments up to one megabase per week, publish their results, and seek intellectual property protection by agreeing that the data will be used for research purposes and will not be distributed.

  • Academic users whose research requires longer stretches of sequence, up to and including the whole genome, will be sent an electronic copy of the Celera data if they submit a a statement, with a co-signature by an institutional representative, that the data will be used for research purposes and will not be distributed.

  • There are no reach-through provisions or restrictions on publication of the researcher's results.

  • Redistribution of the Celera sequence data is prohibited. However, Celera will deposit sequence data into Genbank on behalf of authors if such deposition is required for publication of research results.

  • Commercial users may access the data for validation and verification purposes only upon executing a Material Transfer Agreement. Alternatively, they may subscribe for a fee, or seek a license from Celera to use the data for other purposes.

  • Science will keep a copy of the database in escrow, to insure that there will be no changes in the ability of the public to have full access to the data. Details are contained in the escrow agreement executed between Science and Celera.

To read the complete text of the agreements and to access the Celera Human Genome sequence, go to the Celera web site.


This Data Escrow Agreement ("Agreement"), dated as of February 8, 2001 ("Effective Date"), is entered into by and among PE CORPORATION (NY), a Delaware corporation, through the Celera Genomics Group ("Celera"), having a place of business at 45 West Gude Drive, Rockville, Maryland 20850 and the American Association for the Advancement of Science a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization, having a place of business at 1200 New York Avenue, NW, Washington, DC 20005 ("Science")

WHEREAS, In accordance with Science's publication policies, Celera has committed to Science that it shall make available to the public, Celera's consensus human genome as published in J.C. Venter, et al., Science291, 1304-1351 (2001) ("Celera Data").

WHEREAS, Celera has agreed to make Celera Data freely available to the academic and non-profit research community. The terms of such access are attached hereto as Exhibit A.

  1. Deposit. Prior to the publication of Celera's manuscript containing Celera Data, Celera shall deposit with Science a sealed package containing the version of Celera Data (in electronic form) that Celera analyzed for developing the results and analysis presented in such publication.

  2. Release Conditions. Subject to Section 3 and 4 below, Science may make the deposited Celera Data available to the public (under the same terms and conditions as set forth in Exhibit A) if any one of the following events occurs (collectively "Release Conditions"):

    a. Celera ceases to do business in the ordinary course,
    b. Celera makes an assignment for the benefit of creditors, or
    c. Celera has appointed a receiver or trustee in bankruptcy, or
    d. Celera makes a filing under any federal or state insolvency or similar law, or
    e. Celera fails to provide public access to Celera Data on under (i) substantially the same terms and conditions as set forth in Exhibit A (as it exists on the Effective Date) or (ii) other publicly available methods.

  3. Release of Escrow. If Science believes in good faith that a Release Condition has occurred, then Science shall first notify Celera in writing. Science shall confirm with Celera that Celera has received such notice. In the case of 2(a) -- 2(d) above, Science is authorized to, and may, subject to Section 4, publicly release the Celera Data 10 business days after the date of Celera's receipt of such notice; unless Science receives written notice from Celera during this ten (10) business day period, disputing the occurrence of a Release Condition. In the case of 2(e) above, Celera shall have thirty (30) days to restore such public access to the Celera Data. If the Celera Data remains unavailable for thirty (30) days after Celera receives notice from Science and Celera has not deposited Celera Data in Genbank, Science shall then have the right, subject to Section 4 and 5, to make such Celera Data publicly available. One (1) year after Celera's release of Celera Data to Science under this Agreement, Celera grants to Science the right to deposit Celera Data in GenBank on behalf of the authors of such Celera Data.

  4. Dispute of Release. Celera may dispute the occurrence of any Release Condition only if Celera has a good faith basis for such dispute. In the event Science receives such written notice from Celera, Science will not be authorized to release the Celera Data unless it does so under the same terms and conditions of Exhibit A or with a court order or until an arbitrator has determined in accordance with the procedures set forth in Section 9 that Science is entitled to release the Celera Data. Upon release of the Celera Data under this Section 4, this Agreement will terminate, except for Sections 5, 6 & 9 which will survive.

  5. Use of Celera Data. Science shall only release the Celera Data to satisfy Science's publication policies and procedures as further defined in "Information for Contributors" ( and shall only make such Celera Data available in accordance with Section 2, above.

  6. Expenses and Fees. Science hereby acknowledges that it will be solely responsible for all costs related to this Agreement incurred by Science, including without limitation all of Science's fees and charges to store such Celera Data.

  7. Confidentiality. Science shall maintain the Celera Data in confidence and shall not disclose it to any other party except as permitted under this Agreement. Such obligation of non-disclosure shall not apply if complying with applicable law, provided however, that if Science shall be required to make any disclosure of Celera Data under this Section, Science shall (i) give reasonable advance notice to Celera of such disclosure requirement; (ii) provide a copy of the proposed disclosure; and, (iii) provide reasonable assistance to Celera in securing confidential treatment of such Celera Data required to be disclosed, including cooperating to obtain a protective order for the Celera Data. Science acknowledges Celera's assertion that any breach of this Section 7 by Science will result in irreparable and continuing damages to Celera for which there will be no adequate monetary remedy. Celera will have the right to seek injunctive relief against Science for any breach of this Section 7.

  8. Liability. Science shall hold the Celera Data in the same vault that it maintains for the safeguarding of valuable documents and objects.

  9. Governing Law, Dispute Resolution. This Agreement will be construed and governed by the laws of the State of Delaware without giving effect to the conflict of law rules therein. Any disputes and claims arising from or relating to this Agreement must be settled by arbitration in accordance with the commercial arbitration rules of the American Arbitration Association. The parties shall use their best efforts to have an arbitrator appointed within ten (10) days following a request by any party hereto for arbitration. The parties shall use their best efforts to ensure that such arbitration shall be concluded no later than thirty (30) days after the appointment of an arbitrator. No term or provision in this Agreement will be construed in favor of or against any party hereto by reason of the fact that it was drafted by one party or its attorney.

  10. Assignment. Each of Celera and Science may assign its rights and obligations with prior approval of the other party, such approval not to be unreasonably withheld.

  11. Notices. All notices and other communications hereunder or in connection herewith will be deemed to have been duly given if delivered personally, sent by facsimile, with confirmation, or sent by registered or certified mail in writing, return receipt requested and first class postage prepaid.

  12. Counterparts. This Agreement may be executed in two or more counterparts, each of which will be deemed an original, but all of which together will constitute one and the same document.

  13. Force Majeure. If the performance of any part of this Agreement by either party shall be prevented, restricted, interfered with or delayed by reason of any cause beyond the reasonable control of the party liable to perform, unless conclusive evidence to the contrary shall be provided, the party so affected shall, upon giving written notice to the other party, be excused from such performance to the extent of such prevention, restriction, interference or delay, provided that the affected party shall use its commercially reasonable efforts to avoid or remove such causes of non-performance and shall continue performance with the utmost dispatch whenever such causes are removed. When such circumstances arise, the parties shall discuss what, if any, modification of the terms of this Agreement may be required in order to arrive at an equitable solution.