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Report of the NIH Rat Model Repository Workshop

Appendix
Bases for Calculations

To estimate cost, the participants developed a series of assumptions. These are not designed to set numbers, but rather to illustrate what the NIH and the scientific community will receive for a given investment. We fully anticipate and expect the applicants to develop their own cost estimates and justifications for how the Center will manage the distribution of strains only cryopreserved versus live colonies. After funding, the Center Director and Advisory Board will continue to explore and modify means of maximizing the number of strains maintained.

OVERALL COSTS
First year $11–$12 million (total costs)
For 5 years $35 million (total costs)

START-UP COSTS $5 million one-time cost
Equipment
Cryopreservation
Microbiological
Genetic monitoring
General (freezers, auto baths, pipettes, etc.)
Computers for laboratory
Informatics (hardware and software)
Cages, racks, etc.
Cage washers, steam sterilizer
Isolators (laminar flow units)
Miscellaneous (surgical equipment, etc.)
Security systems (environmental controls; computer regulation/monitoring)
Renovations
DIRECT COST PER YEAR $4 million
$35 million minus $5 million equipment and renovations = $30 million
$30 million minus $10 million (50% indirect costs) = $20 million
$20 million/5 years = $4 million per year

LIVE ANIMAL COSTS

For this section, per diem costs were set at $1.50 per day per rat. It is difficult to estimate per diem rates, since the services provided or not provided by this fee vary from institution to institution, and there will need to be a balance between the per diem costs and personnel costs. Here we assume all genetic and microbiological costs and some personnel costs are within the per diem rate. We have not built in a budget that illustrates the

Maintaining breeders per year $936,950
At steady state, the minimum number of strains are:
44 strains maintained as live colonies
10 kept only as breeding nuclei x $5,475/strain/yr
32 small expansion colony x $21,900/strain/yr
2 large expansion colony x $65,700/strain/yr
Rederiving 10 strains per year x $5,000/strain
 
$54,750
$700,800
$131,400
$50,000

Assumptions for cost estimates:

The 10 strains maintained as breeding nuclei were assumed to be new strains, for which the need had not been established. For this process, we assumed 10 new strains would be added each year and 10 retired to be cryopreserved or transferred to a commercial breeder. We are projecting a cost of $5,000 to rederive a strain. Therefore, 10 strains per year x $5,000 = $50,000 per year

Breeding colony (5 breeder pairs)
Small expansion colony (20 breeder pairs)
Large expansion colony (60 breeder pairs)
$5,475/strain/yr
$21,900/strain/yr
$65,700/strain/yr

Cost associated with maintaining animals for distribution $1.1 million

Rats to be sold/distributed incur a per diem charge from weaning until they are sold, distributed, or euthanized. For this estimate, we assumed that the number of animals sacrificed represents the average number of animals per day maintained by the Center's budget, since there is no cost recovery for these animals during the first 5 years. After the first 5 years, the participants anticipate that this category should probably be reduced. However, not producing enough animals to save costs initially will be counterproductive. For this estimate, it was assumed that the daily average number of animals incurring a per diem charge would be 2,052 rats based on 90 percent of the produced animals being distributed. We recognize this is a high figure, but we also estimate that the Director and Advisory Board will not maintain a uniform number of animals for distribution. 2,052 rats x 365 days x $1.50 per rat = $1.1 million.

Table 1. Estimated number of animals generated for
distribution for each type of colony

  Rats Generated Annually Number of Rats Distributed Interim Sacrifices

Breeder expansion (small) 540 486 54
Expansion (large) 1,620 1,458 162

Table 2. Estimated number of rats generated for
distribution for each type of colony

  Rats Generated Annually Number of Rats Distributed Interim Sacrifices

For 32 strains with small expansion 17,280 15,552 1,728
For 2 strains with large expansion 3,240 2,916 324
Totals 20,520 18,468 2,052

PERSONNEL COSTS (APPROXIMATELY 25% OF DIRECT COSTS) $1 million

The staff of the facility should consist of a Director with expertise in genetics, several scientific research staff for research and development, informatics personnel, administrative personnel, a facilities manager and facilities maintenance personnel, cryopreservation personnel, animal care technicians, and quality control technicians.

CRYOPRESERVATION COSTS PER YEAR $450,000

$9,000/strain to freeze and recover x 50 strains per year

SUPPLY/MISCELLANEOUS COSTS $500,000

  • Miscellaneous laboratory supplies
  • Informatics support (hardware and software)
  • Resources for developing better technologies for cryopreservation, etc.
  • Office supplies
  • Miscellaneous laboratory supplies
  • Informatics support (hardware and software)
  • Resources for developing better technologies for cryopreservation, etc.
  • Office supplies
  • Telephone charges
  • Travel for Advisory Board members
  • Travel for investigators
  • Training course and meeting costs
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