BioMed X Innovation Center announced the collaboration with Merck Serono, the biopharmaceuticals business of Merck, on new approaches for cancer therapy. Based on the results presented at the biannual meeting in Heidelberg (Germany) Merck Serono decided to extend the funding of the first two international research groups for a third year.

BioMed X and Merck have jointly developed a unique innovation model which combines a crowdsourcing approach with local incubation of the brightest ideas and research talents. Merck became the first partner of the BioMed X Innovation Center in 2013 by setting up three research groups at the interface between academia and industry in its biomedical research lab in Heidelberg. BioMed X’s open innovation lab is located on the life science campus of the University of Heidelberg which provides an inspiring, interdisciplinary environment for project teams.

As part of BioMed X’s innovation model, outstanding life science talents from leading academic institutions world-wide were selected to work on metabolism and signaling in cancer, on tools to improve the selectivity of kinase inhibitors and on new approaches to overcome the immunosuppressive microenvironment of tumors. One of the latest successes was the release of KinMap, a free web-based tool for creating and sharing interactive annotations of the human kinome tree.