Paving the way for COSMIC’s future

New licensing strategy with commercial partners will spur cancer database’s growth

In March 2015 as part of our growth and development plan for the Catalogue of Somatic Mutations in Cancer (COSMIC), we implemented a new licensing strategy. We have introduced a fee for commercial use with the aim of spurring COSMIC’s growth and enhancing its analytics while allowing us to continue delivering the latest findings in cancer genetics free of charge to the academic and non-profit research community.

Access to the COSMIC website will stay free for all users in order to provide the widest support for cancer genetics research. The new licensing strategy will charge for-profit organisations to download COSMIC. Download by academic and non-profit organisations will remain free. Everyone downloading COSMIC data will need to agree to the license, emphasising the Sanger Institute as the hub for the distribution of its data.

Cancer researchers around the world are producing valuable genetic data at an unprecedented scale thanks to advances in sequencing technology. COSMIC data supports and underlies research and development in cancer drug discovery and diagnostics by compiling these genetic data from peer-reviewed research and international databases into a single curated system.

By introducing licenses for commercial users and offering bespoke analysis and visualisation services, we aim to enhance our coverage of mutations in cancer, and invest in bioinformatic tool development to transform COSMIC’s vast quantities of data into life-saving insight. The Sanger Institute continues to provide core funding for COSMIC through its grant from the Wellcome Trust as it has done for the past 12 years, and all revenue from our commercial partnerships will be used to expand coverage and improve services for all users.


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