Launch of Merck Digital Sciences Studio to support biomedical startups
What you should know:
– Merck, today announced the launch of the Merck Digital Sciences Studio (MDSS) to enable the generation of innovative technologies for drug discovery and development.
– MDSS will support early-stage biomedical startups with direct investments, access to powerful Azure cloud computing, and opportunities to pilot their technologies in collaboration with discovery and clinical researchers at Merck.
Focus on the MDSS acceleration program
The MDSS is a collaboration between Merck and the New Jersey Innovation Institute (NJII), a New Jersey Institute of Technology company, with investments from the Merck Global Health Innovation Fund, Northpond Ventures, and McKesson Ventures. The MDSS is a 10-month, hands-on acceleration program offering mentorship, coaching, training, support, community, and investment in digital health and biotech startups. MDSS will offer up to $150,000 in convertible tickets and access to Microsoft’s Founders Hub resources, including up to $150,000 in Azure compute credits. The MDSS will have offices in Newark, NJ and Cambridge, MA. Starting today, Merck is welcoming applications for 12 places for the first MDSS cohort. Startups developing artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) applications will be prioritized.
Digital technologies are already enabling innovation in the discovery and development of biomarkers and drugs in the areas of target identification, lead discovery, preclinical development and clinical development. Through MDSS, collaborators will selectively accelerate and pilot new and innovative digital technologies that are strategically aligned with Merck’s life science research. Currently, the program plans to include six startups in each of the Newark, NJ and Cambridge, MA locations.
“The biopharmaceutical industry has only just begun to exploit the tremendous opportunity presented by emerging technological developments in AI and ML,” said Fiona Marshall, Senior Vice President, Discovery, Preclinical and Translational Medicine at Merck Research. Laboratories. “MDSS will provide a collaborative and entrepreneurial setting where scientists will have access to the tools and expertise needed to fuel important innovations that advance drug discovery and development.”