Darmstadt, Germany, November 27, 2018 — Merck, the vibrant science and technology company, today announced that it has won two R&D 100 Awards. The 56th annual R&D 100 Awards program, honoring the 100 most innovative and significant technologies introduced in the past year, recognized Merck for its BioReliance® Viral and Gene Therapy Assay Portfolio and proxy-CRISPR technology. Merck has received nine R&D 100 Awards in the past six years.
“We are honored to receive two R&D 100 Awards, one recognizing our continuous focus on making gene therapy more widely accessible to patients in need by developing and implementing our BioReliance® Viral and Gene Therapy assays rapidly,” said Udit Batra, member of the Merck Executive Board and CEO, Life Science. “The second award highlights Merck as a market leader in gene editing — the result of our longstanding R&D focus on CRISPR technology. I am immensely proud of our teams, who, every day, live our purpose to solve the toughest problems in life science.”
Merck’s BioReliance® Viral and Gene Therapy Assay Portfolio won a R&D 100 Award in the Analytical/Test category. The BioReliance® Viral and Gene Therapy Assay Portfolio is a platform of assays that allows the timely release of viral and gene therapy vectors, cutting testing time nearly in half, while providing accurate and reliable results. Merck developed the assays specifically for viral gene therapy product characterization, purity, potency, safety and release testing.
Merck’s proxy-CRISPR technology won a Special Recognition Market Disruptor — Products award. Market disruptor awards are given to those that have the potential to be “game changers,” disrupting established technologies and transforming their respective industry.
Proxy-CRISPR is a new genome-editing tool for improving the performance of other newly discovered CRISPR proteins. This technology makes CRISPR more efficient, flexible and specific by opening up the DNA helix so researchers can make targeted sequence changes in previously inaccessible regions of the genome. Merck’s proxy-CRISPR provides a rapid and simple method to increase usability without the laborious need to re-engineer native CRISPR proteins.
The R&D 100 Awards are among the most prestigious innovation awards, honoring research and development pioneers.
Merck, a leading science and technology company, operates across healthcare, life science and performance materials. Around 57,000 employees work to make a positive difference to millions of people’s lives every day by creating more joyful and sustainable ways to live. From advancing gene editing technologies and discovering unique ways to treat the most challenging diseases to enabling the intelligence of devices – the company is everywhere. In 2019, Merck generated sales of €16.2 billion in 66 countries.
Scientific exploration and responsible entrepreneurship have been key to Merck’s technological and scientific advances. This is how Merck has thrived since its founding in 1668. The founding family remains the majority owner of the publicly listed company. Merck holds the global rights to the Merck name and brand. The only exceptions are the United States and Canada, where the business sectors of Merck operate as EMD Serono in healthcare, MilliporeSigma in life science and EMD Performance Materials.