Industry News: Biotech Grant Program Winners Announced

24 Jan 2017

Merck, a leading science and technology company, announced the winners of its Emerging Biotech Grant Program in Europe. Applicants from emerging biotechnology companies across Europe were asked to describe one or more of their current projects, the medical needs they solve and process development challenges they face to be considered for the grant. 

The four grant recipients are:  

  • GeneQuine Biotherapeutics (first prize), for developing novel therapies for osteoarthritis, a degenerative joint disease with high unmet medical need.
  • TILT Biotherapeutics (second prize), for enabling tumor T-cell therapy with oncolytic viruses.
  • ReNeuron (third prize), for developing novel stem cell therapies targeting areas of significant unmet or poorly met medical need.
  • Magnus Life Science (fourth prize), for funding, building and managing companies to translate innovative, curiosity driven science into therapeutics and devices that bring significant benefits to patients.

"Merck is committed to recognizing stand-out emerging biotech companies with our grant program," said Udit Batra, member of the Merck Executive Board and CEO, Life Science. "We understand the challenges of bringing the next generation of therapies to market and the awarded programs will help accelerate the development of medicines for unmet need."

Merck experts selected the winning submissions based on the scientific and societal merit of the therapy in development and process challenges and expertise gaps that may impact ongoing development. Each grant recipient will receive between €25,000 and €100,000 in products and services from Merck to help solve these challenges.

Merck has offered this grant program for emerging biotech companies in the United States and China in recent years. Last year, five grants were given in China to companies developing antibody drug conjugates for cancer and monoclonal antibodies for the treatment of fibrotic disease. In 2014, NGM Biopharmaceuticals won the first prize in USA for the development of biologics for the treatment of cardiometabolic conditions, bile acid-related disease and other diseases resulting from manifestations of cardiometabolic abnormalities and metabolic related cancers.