The new collaboration agreements signed between Germany-based Evotec and the life science business of Merck will combine Merck’s portfolio of genome editing technologies with Evotec’s versatile screening platforms and disease expertise. Merck’s comprehensive collection of genetic reagents – such as viral CRISPR and shRNA libraries – will be used to enable new target discovery programmes using Evotec’s capabilities for phenotypic screening in primary and induced pluripotent stem (“iPS”) cells, as well as its in vivo disease models.

According to Mario Polywka, chief operating officer of Evotec, together with the recent licensing of the CRISPR-Cas9 gene editing technology, these agreements with Merck further strengthen the company’s offering in the area of target identification and validation. “With this we provide more value to joint clients by a one-stop-shop solution for this innovative drug discovery segment”, said Dr Polywk