cancer oncologyBioMed X and Merck announce the start of a new research group at the BioMed X Innovation Center in Heidelberg, Germany.

The new project, entitled “DNA Damage in Cancer,” represents an extension of their ongoing collaboration in the field of oncology research. The aim of this new research team is to develop novel approaches to exploit cellular DNA damage and repair mechanisms that occur during radiation and radiochemotherapy.

The group will be headed by Dr Balca Mardin, who joined the BioMed X Innovation Center from the European Molecular Biology Laboratories (EMBL). Based on Dr Mardin’s extensive track record in studying cellular mechanisms of complex genomic rearrangements and the impact of DNA damage and repair on genome instability during tumourigenesis, the group will focus on identifying mechanisms of synthetic lethality in cancer to increase therapeutic efficacy and reduce the side-effects of cancer treatments.

“We are excited to extend our collaboration with Merck in the field of oncology,” said Christian Tidona, founder and Managing Director of BioMed X. “A total of nine research groups from five pharma sponsors in only 3 years clearly reflects the strong reputation we have built in biomedical innovation.”

In 2013, Merck and BioMed X started a research collaboration to explore new avenues for cancer treatment. Other research teams at BioMed X sponsored by Merck focus on cancer metabolism and the immunosuppressive environment of tumours.