Merck Serono, Biopharm in osteoarthritis research collaboration
Merck Serono, the biopharmaceutical division of Merck, and Biopharm GmbH have announced a research collaboration directed towards the molecular engineering of a biologic compound for the treatment of osteoarthritis.
Under terms of the agreement, Merck Serono and Biopharm will enter a joint discovery project focusing on a potential pro-anabolic osteoarthritis modifying drug based on a growth factor derived from Biopharm technology. The research program is intended to run for two years.
“We have insight that the maternal protein shows an important role in joint cartilage formation. These findings raise hope that a modified wildtype protein may induce cartilage regeneration in the osteoarthritic joint. The alliance will draw on the combined expertise and resources of Merck Serono and Biopharm with the ultimate goal to develop a disease modifying osteoarthritis drug. Although we have knowledge about the molecule, we need a partner like Merck Serono, who does not only provide the necessary resources, but also know how best to set up of our research program to ensure a successful hand over to clinical experts,”
Dr. Frank Plöger, CSO of Biopharm.
Financial details of the agreement have not been disclosed.
According to the WHO, over 5% of adults over 40 in developed countries, which accounts for over 30 million people, suffer from osteoarthritis of the knee.
Biopharm, Merck Collaborate on Osteoarthritis Treatment (Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology News)
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