Merck Serono, Compugen establish Neviah Genomics

theflyonthewall.com

Merck Serono, a division of Merck KGaA (MKGAY) and Compugen Ltd. (CGEN) announced the establishment of Neviah Genomics, a novel start-up company focused on the discovery and development of novel biomarkers for the prediction of drug-induced toxicity. Neviah Genomics will be operating out of the Merck Serono Israel Bioincubator. Merck Serono Ventures will provide the initial funding for Neviah Genomics. Compugen will utilize certain proprietary predictive discovery technologies and receive an equity ownership in the new company and a right to royalties from potential future sales. Further financial details of the agreement were not disclosed. This agreement follows a successful collaboration between Merck Serono and Compugen for the discovery of "biomarker signatures" for drug induced toxicity during 2009. Merck Serono and Compugen believe that establishment of Neviah Genomics with the combined capabilities of the two companies could satisfy the growing market need for products to predict toxicity profiles of lead drug candidates at an early stage of development, thereby minimizing attrition and mitigating risk of late-stage drug failure.

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