Cenix BioScience and Merck KGaA Sign Framework Agreement for RNAi-Based Drug Discovery

(PresseBox) ( Dresden, )
Cenix BioScience GmbH (Dresden), the leading specialist in advanced RNA interference (RNAi)-based research services, and Merck KGaA (Darmstadt, Germany), a leading global pharmaceutical company, today announced that they have signed a framework research agreement securing Cenix services to enhance and accelerate Merck target discovery and validation efforts in oncology, with an option to expand in several human disease programs.

Cenix will apply its well-established expertise combining high throughput (HT), genome-scale screening applications of RNAi with high content phenotypic analyses in cultured human cells to discover and validate new therapeutic targets, using assays co-designed with Merck scientists. By yielding direct and highly predictive insights into the cellular functions and loss-of-function phenotypes of analyzed genes, this RNAi-based approach will enable Merck to efficiently select targets with higher confidence for driving their drug development programs.

“As this project represents a very careful and well-thought-out design process, we are delighted to undertake it with Merck” noted Dr. Christophe Echeverri, CEO/CSO of Cenix BioScience. “We look forward to vindicating the recognition and trust shown by our Merck colleagues in allowing Cenix to provide them with the most advanced and mature technology, infrastructure and expertise for performing efficient and fast HT-RNAi-based drug discovery.”

About Merck KGaA
Merck is a global pharmaceutical and chemical company with sales of EUR 5.9 billion in 2005, a history that began in 1668, and a future shaped by 29,958 employees in 55 countries. Its success is characterized by innovations from entrepreneurial employees. Merck's operating activities come under the umbrella of Merck KGaA, in which the Merck family holds a 73% interest and free shareholders own the remaining 27%. In 1917 the U.S. subsidiary Merck & Co. was expropriated and has been an independent company ever since.
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