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BGI, Merck Announce Biomarker Collaboration

By Bio-IT World Staff  

September 13, 2011 | Merck and BGI today announced a collaboration to focus on the discovery and development of biomarkers and genomic technologies, an extension of last year’s statement of intent to build a working relationship (see, “BGI Bags a Big Pharma Alliance with Merck,” Sept 2010).   

Under the agreement, scientists from Merck and BGI will work closely together to identify and characterize biomarkers with an emphasis on drug discovery, drug development and diagnostics applications across a wide range of therapeutic areas.  

Financial details were not disclosed, but under the terms of the agreement Merck and BGI will each be able to propose projects for collaborative work. Both companies will provide resources, expertise, samples and other research materials.   

"This strategic collaboration combines BGI's genomic sequencing and analytic capabilities with Merck's expertise and experience in drug development," said Jeffrey Chodakewitz, vice president, Late Stage Development, Merck Research Laboratories in a press release. "By working together we hope to apply BGI's comprehensive next-gen sequencing solutions to develop important new tools to aid drug development and enable effective tailoring of medicines to those patients most likely to respond."  

"We welcome this opportunity to bring extensive genomics experience to our collaboration with Merck, as well as our expertise in transcriptomics, proteomics and bioinformatics. Through this close collaboration with Merck, we are confident that we will achieve more important breakthroughs to accelerate disease genomics research and drug R&D to facilitate improved health care," said Ye Yin, president of the research and cooperation division at BGI, in a press release. "This collaboration will bring mutual benefits to BGI and Merck in the next few years, but also support the development of new techniques that will benefit the medical and pharmaceutical industries as a whole."  


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