BioMed X emerges from Merck KGaA alliance armed with bioinformatics tools

BioMed X has begun offering bioinformatics services on the back of its alliance with Merck KGaA. The services are underpinned by tools developed during BioMed X's three-year collaboration with Merck KGaA, during which it advanced computational approaches to the design of highly selective kinase inhibitors.

Heidelberg, Germany-based BioMed X began working with Merck KGaA, the first company to sign up to its crowdsourced approach to research, in 2013 and extended the relationship by 12 months in July. The collaboration has supported the work of three research groups, one of was tasked with the development of computational methods that support the rational design of selective kinase inhibitors. Simone Fulle, who worked on computational chemistry and computer-aided drug design at InhibOx before joining BioMed X in 2013, led the bioinformatics research group.

The bioinformatics tools created by Fulle and her collaborators will support a new service offering from BioMed X, an organization focused on connecting industry and academia. BioMed X plans to use the tools, which include cheminformatic capabilities, to provide services to research institutes and industrial drug developers. The organization thinks the services will appeal to research teams that are trying to design highly selective inhibitors of kinases, a protein family involved with cancer and inflammation.

In emerging from the Merck KGaA collaboration with tools that have the potential to support a new service line, BioMed X has gone some way to validating the potential of its research model. "We are very proud of this early proof of concept of our new innovation model," Christian Tidona, founder and managing director of BioMed X, said in a statement. "Now it is evident that our unique research and development approach delivers significant value to our pharma partners."

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