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Merck licenses University of Edinburgh research tool

Gains access to novel disease progression technology
Merck

Merck KGaA has acquired access to a pioneering research tool from The University of Edinburgh for the study of early stage disease progression.

Developed by the university's commercialisation arm, Edinburgh Research & Innovation, the technology uses a fluorescent compound to tag peptides and so make them visible as disease reporters.

The tool, which has been designed not interfere to with the peptides' natural state, makes their identification easier under a microscope and so allows researchers to better track disease onset and behaviour.

Dr Marc Vendrell, principal investigator of The University of Edinburgh's School of Clinical Sciences team, said: “One of the main advantages of our technology is that it can be broadly applied to almost all peptides, having a global impact in biomedicine.

“This means that our technology will improve our understanding of disease at many different levels, from cancer to the regeneration of tissues or the progression of inflammatory diseases.”

Currently subject of a patent application, the peptide technology was funded by a Marie Curie Career Integration Grant from the EU Commission, and worked on with academic partners at the University of Barcelona and the University of Manchester.

Merck's Udit Batra, chief executive of Merck Life Science, said: “At Merck, we are always looking for innovative ideas to enhance our customers' research efforts.

“This compound from the University of Edinburgh offers researchers a way to fluorescently label peptides that has minimal interference with peptide structure.

“This will enable biological discovery and complement our portfolio of chemical biology tools.”

Article by
Rebecca Clifford

1st November 2016

From: Research

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