June 8, 2017 @09:44

BioMed X and Merck launch two new crowdsourcing projects in the fields of cancer research and biologics manufacturing

Heidelberg, Germany, June 8, 2017 – BioMed X announces the launch of two new global calls for application together with Merck KGaA in Darmstadt in the fields of RNA splicing in cancer and engineering of high-performance production cell lines. Talented young scientists from the world’s top universities and research institutions are invited to submit innovative project proposals and apply for a research fellowship at the BioMed X Innovation Center in Heidelberg.

BioMed X was founded in 2013 in collaboration with its first pharmaceutical partner Merck. Since then, its novel innovation model has attracted five of the top 25 big pharma companies world-wide. Today, BioMed X is hosting nine independent research groups of talented young researchers from more than 20 different countries. At the BioMed X Innovation Center in Heidelberg they are working jointly on biomedical innovations in the fields of oncology, neuroscience, respiratory, diagnostics, consumer care, and bioinformatics. Four of these nine research groups have been started in collaboration with Merck.

According to the World Health Organization, cancer is a leading cause of death worldwide, accounting for 8.8 million deaths in 2015. Emerging data indicate a critical dependency of several subtypes of cancer on a molecular mechanism called RNA splicing. With one of the new calls, Merck is seeking to identify novel approaches to exploit tumor-specific RNA splicing alterations for targeted cancer therapy.

A critical factor for the availability and cost-efficient manufacturing of modern targeted therapeutics is the productivity of the respective production cell lines. With the second new call, Merck is seeking to identify better ways to manufacture monoclonal antibodies and complex glycosylated proteins in general.

“We are very pleased to extend our successful collaboration with Merck”, said Christian Tidona, founder and Managing Director of BioMed X. “The two new topics will strengthen our expertise in cancer research and add new capabilities in the field of industrial cell engineering.”

Details about the two calls for application can be found on the website of the BioMed X Innovation Center at www.bio.mx.

About BioMed X Innovation Center

The BioMed X Innovation Center is an exciting new collaboration model at the interface between academia and industry. At the 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.