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Evotec Inks Deal to Offer Merck KGaA Gene Editing, Silencing Technologies

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb) – Evotec announced today that it has signed agreements to incorporate a portfolio of genome-editing and gene silencing technologies from Merck KGaA's life science business, known as MilliporeSigma in the US and Canada, into its screening and disease model platforms for target discovery.

Under the terms of the deals, Evotec will use MilliporeSigma's collection of genetic reagents — including viral CRISPR and shRNA libraries — in target discovery programs enabled by its platforms for phenotypic screening in primary and induced pluripotent stem cells, as well as in in vivo disease models. The firms said that their target identification workflow is accelerated through the use of custom-engineered cell lines developed by MilliporeSigma’s Cell Design Studio. 

Additional terms of the arrangement were not disclosed.

"Deploying Merck's assay-ready reagents on our cellular screening platforms and in vivo models creates powerful capabilities in the area of target ID," Evotec COO Mario Polywka said in a statement. "With this we provide more value to joint clients by a one-stop-shop solution for this innovative drug discovery segment."

The deals with Merck come a few months after Evotec non-exclusively licensed CRISPR-Cas9 genome-editing technology from the Broad Institute and Harvard University for use in its drug-development and R&D programs.

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