BioMed X and Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany launch new research program in oncology

  • BioMed X Institute expands its collaboration with Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany to a total of eight research programs.

  • Call for application of the new research program ‘Extrachromosomal DNA in Cancer’ to open now.


Heidelberg, Germany, July 5, 2021 – BioMed X, a leading independent research institute, announced today the start of its eighth joint research program with Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany. The new program will explore the role of extrachromosomal DNA in cancer and it will complement the research of two ongoing oncology programs at BioMed X in the fields of DNA damage response and RNA splicing.

Extrachromosomal circular DNA (ecDNA) was recently found to be particularly abundant in multiple human cancer cells, although its frequency varies among different cancer types. Elevated levels of ecDNA have been considered to be correlated with poor clinical outcome in human cancers.

“We are pleased to extend our collaboration even further in the field of cancer research,” Christian Tidona, Founder and Managing Director of the BioMed X Institute said. “This new program will strengthen our expertise at the forefront of deep cancer biology which can potentially lead to better treatment options for patients.”

The key aim of the new project will be to generate a comprehensive atlas of extrachromosomal DNA in human cancer tissues, to investigate how (onco)genes in ecDNA could contribute to tumorigenesis, disease progression, tumor heterogeneity, metastasis, and treatment resistance and to develop novel therapeutic strategies based on oncogenic alterations in ecDNA.

Further details about this call for application can be found on the website of the BioMed X Institute at www.bio.mx. Interested candidates are invited to apply via the BioMed X crowdsourcing platform at www.bio.mx/apply before August 29, 2021.


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