Merck Serono and BioMed X extend collaboration

Heidelberg, Germany, July 23, 2015 – BioMed X Innovation Center announced today that they have extended their collaboration with Merck Serono, the biopharmaceuticals business of Merck, on new approaches for cancer therapy. Based on the results presented at the biannual meeting on July 10th in Heidelberg, Germany, Merck Serono decided to extend the funding of the first two international research groups for a third year.

BioMed X and Merck have jointly developed a unique innovation model which combines a crowdsourcing approach with local incubation of the brightest ideas and research talents. Merck became the first partner of the BioMed X Innovation Center in 2013 by setting up three research groups at the interface between academia and industry in its biomedical research lab in Heidelberg. BioMed X’s open innovation lab is located on the life science campus of the University of Heidelberg which provides an inspiring, interdisciplinary environment for project teams.

As part of BioMed X’s innovation model, outstanding life science talents from leading academic institutions world-wide were selected to work on metabolism and signaling in cancer, on tools to improve the selectivity of kinase inhibitors and on new approaches to overcome the immunosuppressive microenvironment of tumors. One of the latest successes was the release of KinMap, a free web-based tool for creating and sharing interactive annotations of the human kinome tree (

“We are impressed with the progress achieved by the teams since the start of the projects two years ago. It is great to see that the new open innovation concept we have developed works so well in practice.” said Ulrich Betz, Head Innovation & Entrepreneurship Incubator Merck Serono. “Merck Serono’s decision to extend its funding of our first two research groups marks an important milestone for our center”, said Christian Tidona, founder and Managing Director of BioMed X. “It clearly indicates that our new innovation model creates real value for the pharmaceutical industry.”

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 are working jointly on novel pre-clinical research projects in the fields of biomedicine, molecular biology, cell biology, diagnostics and bioinformatics. These interdisciplinary project teams are conducting groundbreaking biomedical research in an open innovation lab facility on the campus of the University of Heidelberg, under the guidance of experienced mentors from academia and industry while expanding their scientific network and receiving an intensive 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 sponsor or spun off into an independent startup company.

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Bettina Rohmann-Lawrenz
Communications Manager
+49 151 20192986