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Merck welcomes ten new startups to its innovation centre

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The ten selected startups will join the Merck Accelerator for the programme’s three-month duration

Merck, a leading science and technology company, announced the ten startups that will be joining the seventh intake of its accelerator programme at the Merck Innovation Center in Darmstadt. The teams come from nine different countries, making 2019 the most international intake in the Merck Accelerator’s history. They were chosen from a total of 565 applications, coming from startups based in 68 countries across the world.

“We are confident that inviting such a diverse group of collaboration-ready startups can lead to outstanding partnerships. We believe that startups and a company such as Merck can mutually benefit a lot from working together. Partnering with startups, we connect with new external ideas while we simultaneously help them to take off. Bringing curious and expert minds together is a tremendous opportunity to create innovations beyond our current scope,” said Michael Gamber, Head of the Merck Innovation Center.

The ten selected startups will join the Merck Accelerator for the programme’s three-month duration. For the first time since the launch of the programme, some of the participating startups will also have the opportunity to extend their stay by joining the company’s China Innovation Hub in Shanghai, which will give them the opportunity to access the Chinese market.

The Merck Accelerator welcomes startups operating in healthcare, life science and performance materials, as well as emerging areas such as bio-sensing and interfaces or liquid biopsy, which represent the Innovation Fields that the Merck Innovation Center is focussing on. This year’s programme includes, for example, Nextbiotics – a startup focussing on antibiotic-resistant bacteria and microbiomes: Nextbiotics is developing a biotechnology platform that engineers bacteriophages to target antibiotic-resistant bacteria. The startup envisions using its technology to precisely modulate the microbiome with applications in the prevention and treatment of infections for humans and animals. The other startup teams (please also check the adjacent fact sheet) joining the Merck Accelerator programme are also working on solutions that could make a positive difference in people’s lives. From affordable point-of-care diagnostic devices through intelligent solutions to developing 3D bioprinted skin, to even analysing patients’ tumour samples in order to identify their level of drug resistance and determine the best type of cancer treatment.

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