Nectagen™ is a small privately held biotechnology company founded in 2007 by David Chao and Richard Suderman. Rich is Nectagen's Director of Research. Dave serves as Nectagen's Chairman and is also President of the Stowers Institute for Medical Research and BioMed Valley Discoveries. Neither of these institutions is affiliated with Nectagen.
Nectagen's mission is to advance biomedical research by providing researchers with access to innovative technology and fostering a community for exchanging improvements, applications and data.
Nectagen pursues its mission with a business model that is different from the typical biotechnology company. Many biotechs use patents or trade secrets to restrict access to their technologies and charge premium prices. In contrast, Nectagen provides the non-profit research community with open access to its technology and uses its proprietary position to provide researchers with a financial incentive to contribute materials and data that benefit all users of its technology.
Nectagen makes its technologies widely available to the non-profit research community. Amino acid sequences, nucleotide sequences and chemical structures for Nectagen products are fully disclosed. Libraries and compounds are made available to enable non-profit researchers to generate their own custom reagents. For non-profit users, Nectagen information and reagents are made available with a label license that 1) provides non-profit researchers with the freedom to use Nectagen's intellectual property for any academic purpose 2) provides other non-profit researchers access to any published derivatives through Nectagen or a third-party public repository and 3) provides Nectagen with freedom to use derivatives for any purposes, including commercial ones.
For-profit companies may purchase Nectagen's products for research purposes with the additional payment of a label license fee. Licenses are available for use of Nectagen's technology for non-research purposes such as screening, manufacturing or diagnostic testing.
Nectagen adds value to its products by managing a system that promotes data exchange among users of its products. Nectagen provides researchers with access to a highly structured database of user-contributed data that characterize and apply Nectagen's products. Nectagen encourages users to contribute data by providing contributors with points that may be used for significant discounts on Nectagen products. Nectagen generally sets a product's list price to be comparable to products sold by competitors and enables users to earn points redeemable for significant discounts. Users earn points by submitting or reviewing application data with the amount determined by the contribution's novelty, utility and effort. Nectagen may adjust the points awarded for an activity based on supply and demand and will also set a maximum possible discount.
Users may have confidence that their contributions of technology development and applications data will benefit the research community because of Nectagen's open access and distribution policy. Researchers may choose to buy products from Nectagen as a reference source of quality controlled material validated by data from other users. Alternatively, researchers may choose to obtain materials directly from other laboratories or produce their own material. These materials benefit indirectly from Nectagen's validation data but, because they lack the benefit of Nectagen's quality control and tracking infrastructure, cannot directly reference or contribute to Nectagen's database of validation data. By promoting open distribution, Nectagen empowers each user to decide whether Nectagen adds sufficient value to merit the prices charged.