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Merck collaborates with Evotec

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Accelerates screening of customised CRISPR and shRNA libraries

20161231ep21Merck has entered into a set of agreements with Evotec, whereby Evotec will provide screening services for Merck’s collection of genetic reagents such as CRISPR and shRNA libraries. Combining access to these libraries with Evotec’s screening expertise offers an accelerated pathway to explore and identify new drug targets.

“Drug discovery starts with the identification of new targets, a process that can be time- and labour-intensive,” said Theresa Creasey, Head of Applied Solutions Strategic Marketing & Innovation, Life Science. “Our collaboration with Evotec accelerates the discovery workflow, enabling customers to more rapidly and efficiently explore disease pathways and find new targets.”

The collaboration allows customers to select a customised set of CRISPR and shRNA libraries, and then leverage Evotec’s extensive capabilities in phenotypic screening within primary and induced pluripotent stem cells and in vivo disease models. The target identification workflow is further accelerated through the use of custom engineered cell lines developed by Merck’s Cell Design Studio. These cell lines are used by Evotec to customise screening assays and deliver answers more efficiently.

“This agreement with Merck further strengthens our offering in the area of target identification and validation,” said Mario Polywka, COO, Evotec. “Deploying Merck’s assay-ready reagents on our cellular screening platforms and in vivo models creates powerful drug discovery capabilities and more value to our customers through such a comprehensive solution.”

Merck partners with the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute for its arrayed CRISPR library covering the entire human genome. The company is also the manufacturer and distributor of the world’s largest RNAi clone library, created in collaboration with The RNAi Consortium.

EP News Bureau

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