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U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

Other Transaction Agreements

BARDA uses  (OTAs), a type of flexible, strategic partnership between the government and industry, to foster innovation and promote collaboration. OTAs help BARDA identify and attract nontraditional commercial firms or consortia to partner with the government.

BARDA uses OTAs to further its advanced research and development goals, promote innovation, and support the mission of the HHS Public Health Emergency Medical Countermeasures Enterprise.

OTAs may include provisions that promote:

  • Flexible portfolio-based funding: Partners can jointly decide to move candidates into and out of the portfolio based on product performance, technical risk, and programmatic need. This flexibility results in significant time, effort, and cost savings to both partners.

  • Consortia partnering: Non-traditional firms and the government can enter into consortia with multiple industry partners. Through consortia, companies can identify products in development by other companies that could be brought in to the portfolio through in-licensing, co-development, or alliances with other companies.

  • Time and cost savings: OTAs also allow the government and its industry partner(s) to decide jointly to replace an underperforming candidate in the portfolio with a promising new candidate. This flexibility results in a significant time, effort and cost savings for both partners.

  • Cost Sharing: BARDA may be able to provide steady, non-dilutive funding over multiple years. When licensed, the new products will become available on the commercial market, which means not only a return on investment for the company but also alleviates the need for government stockpiling, resulting in a long-term cost savings for taxpayers.

  • True collaboration: All partners are represented on joint scientific or technical oversight committees. BARDA brings insight about the nation’s biodefense and ensures that there is a sound rationale for portfolio decisions. The committees endorse potential new projects, agree on how funding should be allocated, and evaluate overall performance.


Other Transaction for Advanced Research

An Other Transaction for Advanced Research (OTAR) is the legally binding, non-acquisition instrument used to advance research and development. OTARs provide flexibilities in the application of many laws and regulations that are not typically used in the commercial sector.

OTARs can be used only if at least one of the following conditions exist:

  • At least one of the partners is non-traditional and is participating to a significant extent
  • Exceptional circumstances justify the use of an OTAR because a conventional arrangement would not be feasible.

OTARs provide flexibilities in the application of many laws and regulations that are not typically used in the commercial sector while enabling BARDA to maintain proper stewardship of federal funds. To the maximum extent practicable, cost or resource sharing of program costs between the government and the nonfederal parties is encouraged.

OTAR Templates

  • This page last reviewed: May 07, 2018