Merck and the European Molecular Biology Laboratory agree three-year drug discovery collaboration

Focus on cancer metabolism aims to deliver novel therapeutic targets and biomarkers

Andree Bluakat: 'We have the opportunity to characterise this phenomenon on the molecular level which will be instrumental for the development of novel therapies that target metabolic pathways in cancer'

German science and technology firm Merck has entered into a three-year research deal with the European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL) focused on cancer metabolism.

The aim of the collaboration is to investigate mechanisms by which cancer cells generate energy and growth-enabling building blocks, which could ultimately deliver novel therapeutic targets, as well as biomarkers.

'It has become clear that cancer cells engage metabolic pathways to support growth and treatment resistance,' said Andree Blaukat, Head of the Translational Innovation Platform Oncology at Merck.

'Together with EMBL, we have the opportunity to characterise this phenomenon on the molecular level which will be instrumental for the development of novel therapies that target metabolic pathways in cancer.'

Heidelberg-based EMBL's expertise in modelling and bioinformatics will be combined with experimental approaches to uncover these metabolic pathways and shed light on their control mechanisms.

EMBL will also use the cutting-edge equipment of its Genomics and Metabolomics Core Facilities to resolve the transcriptional and metabolic profiles of the samples for the study.

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