BioMed X and Merck start new project in cancer research
Heidelberg, Germany, November 3rd, 2016 – BioMed X and Merck announce the start of a new research group at the BioMed X Innovation Center in Heidelberg. The new project entitled “DNA Damage in Cancer” represents an extension of their ongoing collaboration in the field of oncology research. The aim of this new research team is to develop novel approaches to exploit cellular DNA damage and repair mechanisms which occur during radiation and radiochemotherapy. The group will be headed by Dr. Balca Mardin who joined the BioMed X Innovation Center from the European Molecular Biology Laboratories (EMBL). Based on Dr. Mardin’s extensive track record in studying cellular mechanisms of complex genomic rearrangements and the impact of DNA damage and repair on genome instability during tumorigenesis, the group will focus on identifying mechanisms of synthetic lethality in cancer to increase therapeutic efficacy and reduce side effects of cancer treatments.
“We are excited to extend our collaboration with Merck in the field of oncology”, said Christian Tidona, founder and Managing Director of BioMed X. “A total of nine research groups from five pharma sponsors in only three years clearly reflects the strong reputation we have built in biomedical innovation.”
In 2013 Merck and BioMed X have started a research collaboration to explore new avenues for cancer treatment. Other research teams at BioMed X sponsored by Merck focus on cancer metabolism and the immunosuppressive environment of tumors.
About BioMed X Innovation Center
The BioMed X Innovation Center is an exciting new collaboration model at the interface between academia and industry. At our center, distinguished early career scientists recruited from all over the world jointly work on novel pre-clinical research projects in the fields of biomedicine, molecular biology, cell biology, diagnostics and consumer care. These interdisciplinary project teams conduct groundbreaking biomedical research in an open innovation lab facility on the campus of the University of Heidelberg, Germany. They are working under the guidance of experienced mentors from academia and industry while expanding their scientific network and receiving entrepreneurship and leadership training. Each team is typically sponsored by a corporate pharma or biotech partner of BioMed X. After a fully funded project term, successful projects are either internalized into the development pipeline of the respective pharma or biotech partner or transformed into an independent start-up company. BioMed X collaborates with pharma companies such as AbbVie, Boehringer Ingelheim, Johnson & Johnson, Merck and Roche.