The National Collection of Cultures of Microorganisms (CNCM) is an international depositary authority (IDA) under the Budapest Treaty. It is an autonomous unit, ensuring the safeguarding of the integrity and the controlled accessibility of microorganisms, cell cultures and viruses, deposited for the purposes of patent procedures. The CNCM is the only international depositary authority in France and the second in Europe in relation to the number of deposits received since obtaining the IDA status in 1984.
The CNCM accepts bacteria, filamentous fungi, yeasts, viruses and animal and human cell lines. Microorganisms are accepted indifferently whether they are genetically modified or not. Plasmids are not recognized by the CNCM as “type of microorganism”, but as part of the properties of the microorganism.
As a collection of microorganisms authorized for patents, the CNCM receives national and international deposits associated to patents proceedings.
Prior to 1976 and in the absence of specific provisions of French patent law, the collections of micro-organisms of the Pasteur Institute already accepted the deposit of strains on the initiative of patent applicants. The decree of April 30, 1976, which created the CNCM, allowed it to establish a first regulation for strains deposit and sample requests in the event of patent applications, completed and modified thereafter according to the modifications French legislation and international conventions in this area.