BioMed X and Merck launch two crowdsourcing projects

BioMed X and Merck KGaA in Darmstadt, call for global applications in RNA splicing in cancer and engineering of high-performance production cell lines research proposals

Image courtesy of BioMed X

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. 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, researchers are working collaboratively on biomedical innovations in the fields of oncology, neuroscience, respiratory, diagnostics, consumer care, and bioinformatics. Four of these nine research groups are 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 tumour 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.

Merck is seeking to identify better ways to manufacture monoclonal antibodies and complex glycosylated proteins in general with the second crowdsourced project.

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

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Merck KGaA (more information, website)

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