BioMed X Institute and Merck Extend Collaboration to Advance...
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BioMed X Institute and Merck Extend Collaboration to Advance Oncology and Autoimmunity Research

Pharma Tech Outlook | Friday, June 11, 2021

Christian Tidona, Managing Director, BioMed X

Merck will support up to six different research groups at Heidelberg's BioMed X Institute over the next six years.

FREMONT, CA: BioMed X, a leading independent biomedical research institute, announces the continuation of its collaboration with Merck. Merck will initiate up to six additional research projects at the BioMed X Institute under the terms of the new agreement, building on existing research in oncology (DNA damage response and RNA splicing) and autoimmunity (intestinal epithelial barrier in autoimmune diseases). The following collaborative global crowdsourcing project will investigate immune senescence and mitochondrial dysfunction in regulatory T cells, and other T cell subsets shared in human autoimmunity and ageing.

“We are very grateful for the trust and support we received from Merck over the past eight years since we started our collaboration,” Christian Tidona, Founder and Managing Director of the BioMed X Institute, says. “This new agreement with Merck is a great validation of our unique innovation model, showing that it delivers sustained translational value to the early R&D pipelines of our pharma partners.”

Merck was the first pharmaceutical company to partner with BioMed X, initiating the collaboration in 2013. Since then, the partnership has grown steadily, with previously created research projects resulting in 25 scientific publications on topics such as in-silico design of selective kinase inhibitors, myeloid-derived suppressor cell activity, Golgi stress, and DNA damage, as well as several new drug target genes that have been further investigated in pre-clinical studies at Merck.

“We are excited to strengthen our ongoing commitment to our partnership with BioMed X,” says Ulrich A.K. Betz, Vice President Innovation at Merck. “As a result of this successful collaboration, multiple innovative discovery projects in new research areas have been started at Merck, including the successful implementation of our open innovation concept outcubation published in Nature Biotechnology, and we look forward to the scientific advances to come.”

The new research projects will leverage BioMed X's expertise in immunology and inflammation and Merck's in-house discovery capabilities in oncology, immuno-oncology, and immunology.

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