RFP Announcement: NIAID Specimen Repository (NSR) RFP NIAID-DAIDS-NIHAI2012156

Notice Number: NOT-AI-13-052

Update: The following update relating to this announcement has been issued:

  • July 19, 2013 - See Notice NOT-AI-13-053. Notice of Correction to the anticipated period of performance.

Key Dates
Release Date: July 10, 2013

Issued by
National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID)


The Division of AIDS (DAIDS), National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), National Institutes of Health (NIH) conducts and supports epidemiological and clinical research on HIV/AIDS. Many of the large clinical and epidemiological studies funded by DAIDS collect biologic specimens from subjects for ongoing and future studies. The collection and storage of these specimens from HIV-positive and HIV-negative subjects from many different research studies in a single repository is a valuable resource with which researchers can rapidly validate scientific hypotheses and algorithms for clinical decision-making. Well collected and maintained specimen collections coupled with epidemiologic data have facilitated research on the pathogenesis of HIV disease, development of novel drug approaches, prevention studies of potential microbicides and vaccines, and approaches for purging HIV reservoirs including “HIV Cure”.

The NIAID Specimen Repository (NSR), first funded in 1988, is a storage and management program for biological specimens received from HIV positive and negative subjects enrolled in NIAID-sponsored vaccine and observational cohort studies. There are currently over 6 million specimens in the NSR and specimens are often aliquotted into multiple vials. The repository currently contains 160 (-80°C) mechanical freezers and 42 liquid nitrogen freezers. Inventory is currently managed through utilization of the Biological Specimen Inventory II (BSI-II) system.

The current seven-year contract with SeraCare BioServices, Inc., (Contract HHSN272200700060C) will expire on September 30, 2014.

The purpose of this contract is to support the continuation of current and future vaccine and epidemiological cohort study groups, referred to as Study Groups. The current NIAID Study Groups, noted in order of greatest to least numbers of stored specimens are: the Women’s Interagency HIV Study (WIHS); the Multicenter AIDS Cohort Study (MACS); and the HIV Vaccine Trials Network (HVTN). The NSR also maintains specimens from other smaller NIAID-sponsored studies that have been completed. The NSR activities include the short, moderate and long-term specimen storage component of the domestic and international research of the Study Groups through receipt, cryopreservation, and storage of specimens from research sites that are either part of the Study Group (referred to as Sites), or laboratories collaborating with the Study Groups (referred to as external research groups). Retrieval and distribution of stored specimens by the NSR is guided by established scientific priorities of the DAIDS. Specimens include peripheral blood mononuclear cells, serum, plasma, tissue and other bodily fluids or substances such as cervicovaginal lavage (CVL), semen, saliva, urine, feces, autopsy and biopsy materials and whole blood spots dried on filter paper. The specimens have been collected over many years, dated back to 1984, from carefully chosen subjects and reflect the history of the HIV/AIDS epidemic.

It is anticipated that one cost reimbursement type, term form contract will be awarded. The performance requirement will be for the delivery of 19.87 full time equivalents (FTEs) per year for the base period (Year 1), and option periods (Year 2 through Year 7), which may be unilaterally exercised by the Government. The option periods may extend the term of the contract beyond the base period for up to 7 years. In addition to the services outlined above to be provided in the base requirement, options for additional services under the contract may be exercised at the discretion of the Government as follows: 1) increased level of effort to accommodate unanticipated increases in specimen acquisition, storage and distribution in the amount of 1 FTE per option that may be exercised up to two times in a performance year; and 2) increased level of effort to support acquisition, storage and distribution of TB specimens in the amount of 1 FTE per option that may be exercised up to two times in a performance year. Should the Government elect to exercise these options, the Contractor shall provide resources as stated above. The Government intends to use a Performance Based Acquisition method in the evaluation and award of any contract resulting from this RFP.

The NAICS Code is 541712 with a size standard of 500 employees.

The anticipated period of performance is May 1, 2013 through November April 30, 2014 with 1 year options to extend the period for six additional years through April 30, 2020.

All responsible sources may submit a proposal which shall be considered by the Agency. This RFP will be available electronically on or about 7/15/2013 and may be accessed through FedBizOpps http://www.fedbizopps.gov/.  This notice does not commit the Government to award a contract. No collect calls will be accepted. No facsimile transmissions will be accepted.

For this solicitation, the NIAID requires proposals to be submitted via two methods:

1. Disc (CD or DVD) and
2. Online via the NIAID electronic Contract Proposal Submission (eCPS) website. The content of the disc and online proposals must be identical. Submission of proposals by facsimile or e-mail is not acceptable.

For directions on using eCPS, go to the website https://ecps.niaid.nih.gov and then click on "How to Submit."

To submit online using eCPS, offerors must have a valid NIH electronic Research Administration (eRA) Commons account, which provides authentication and serves as a vehicle for secure transmission of documents and communication with the NIAID. The eRA Commons registration process may take up to 4 weeks. For more information, please see http://era.nih.gov/applicants/how-to_steps.cfm#register. ”


Please direct all inquiries to:

Kishan Patel
Contract Specialist
National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID)
6700-B Rockledge Drive, Room 3214
Bethesda, MD 20892-7612
(For Express Mail, change zip code to 20817-7612)
Direct Telephone: 301-594-0983
Main Telephone: 301-496-0612
Fax: 301-402-0972
Email: patelki@niaid.nih.gov  

Michelle L. Scala
National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID)
6700-B Rockledge Drive, Room 3214
Bethesda, MD 20892-7612
(For Express Mail, change zip code to 20817-7612)
Direct Telephone: 301-451-3693
Main Telephone: 301-496-0612
Fax: 301-402-0972
Email: mscala@niaid.nih.gov

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