New Institute Aims to Help Academics Make Medicines

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Science  16 Mar 2012:
Vol. 335, Issue 6074, pp. 1288-1289
DOI: 10.1126/science.335.6074.1288

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This week, Merck launched a new nonprofit research institute to help academics turn their basic biology insights into drug compounds ready for human tests. The German pharmaceutical giant is committing $42 million over the first 3 years to the California Institute for Biomedical Research (CalIBR) and possibly as much as $90 million over the first 7 years. In return, if CAlIBR's collaborations with an outside academic group lead to any drugs ready to move to the clinic, Merck would have the first right to negotiate a deal with the group. If the deal doesn't come together or Merck isn't interested, the academics are free to make a deal with a different pharma partner or spin off their own company.

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