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Sequencing (img: isak55/shutterstock)

Sequencing (img: isak55/shutterstock)

24.10.2019

Genedata completes platform for Merck

Genedata, a Basel-based software developer for the biopharmaceutical sector, and the pharmaceutical company Merck have completed a joint project. They have developed a platform to drive the identification of biomarkers.

Genedata and Merck have completed their latest project after several years of development, announced Genedata in a statement. Merck turned to Genedata because it needed a large-scale data management and analysis platform to facilitate molecular profiling of large cohorts of patients from across the world. The analyses could support translational medicine applications, so bringing products quickly from pre-clinical research to clinical development, as well as the identification of biomarkers.

The new platform is based on Genedata Profiler, a software developed by the Basel company that can identify biomarkers in patient samples to enable more precise selection for clinical trials. Such identification is highly important for drug development, because biomarkers help determine the efficacy or negative impact of active ingredients.  

Developments from different fields of research, all of which serve the development of novel therapies, have been poured into the platform. Among them is next generation sequencing (NGS), or massively parallel analysis of different areas in one sample. NGS facilitates automated work processes, such as the analysis of tumor mutational burden/TMB – a biomarker based on the extent of mutation on a tumor. This amount is important for the development of immunotherapies for cancer. 

“Merck Healthcare is fully committed to drive R&D digitalization to foster the development of Precision Medicines for the benefit of patients,” commented Joern Peter Halle, Head of Immuno-oncology and External Innovation at Merck. “The Genedata platform is an important cornerstone in enhancing the analytical capabilities of our teams with cutting-edge digital technology.”

Othmar Pfannes, CEO of Genedata, said he was pleased to have reached “the first milestone” of the collaboration. According to the statement, the two companies plan to continue to develop the platform, with goals including to make use of the latest artificial intelligence technology. 

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