BioMed X and Roche announce research collaboration in the field of immunology

BioMed X announced today the initiation of a new research collaboration with F. Hoffmann-La Roche Ltd in the field of immunology. Within the framework of the agreement, BioMed X will launch a global call for applications to establish a new biomedical research group in Heidelberg. The main objective of the new group will be to develop novel approaches for the treatment of several immune-mediated diseases.

Myeloid cells are capable of dynamically exerting diverse functions in the immune system, as well as in different tissues. This functional plasticity of macrophages, monocytes and dendritic cells is governed by integrating a wide array of signals from the local micro-environment to adequately respond to cellular damage or disrupted tissue homeostasis. In contrast, dysbalance of signals is thought to contribute to numerous immune-mediated diseases. So far, the integration of soluble and membrane-dependent signals, as well as epigenetic imprints shaping myeloid cell reactivity and plasticity is not well understood.

In this project, Roche is seeking to identify key checkpoints and master switches governing functional adaptation of myeloid cells, delineate the functional consequences of these signals, and establish assay systems to monitor functional alterations. The main objective of the project is to harness myeloid cell plasticity to counteract pro-inflammatory differentiation and activation, and to restore homeostasis in immune-mediated diseases.

Following a world-wide call for applications, successful candidates will be invited to a five-day boot camp to develop a research plan under guidance of experienced mentors. Final winners will be offered a two- to four-year fellowship to implement their research proposal at the BioMed X Innovation Center in Heidelberg.

“We are very proud to extend this collaboration now into the pharma division”, said Christian Tidona, founder and Managing Director of BioMed X. “This is our third collaboration in the field of immunology which will further strengthen our expertise in this important area of research.”