Addgene is a unique, nonprofit whose mission is to accelerate research and discovery by improving access to useful research materials and information. Addgene operates a repository for a research reagent called a plasmid and serves as a scientific supply house providing useful research materials to researchers in all areas of the life sciences. Plasmids are important for understanding basic biology and for making advances in biomedical research. They are one of the most commonly used tools in a molecular biology lab. The company was founded in 2004 by Melina Fan, Kenneth Fan and Benjie Chen and currently employs about 70 Addgenies. Depositing to the library is free. The quality control and repository costs are covered by affordable shipping and handling fees for plasmid requests. Over 500 plasmids ship daily from this facility to scientists in over 80 different countries.The Addgene model does not require grant funding or donor support.