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Merck Serono Establishes Immunotherapy Platform

28.06.2013 -

Merck Serono, the biopharmaceutical division of Germany-based Merck KGaA, has created a dedicated immune-oncology innovation platform integrating research, early development and biomarker strategies. The new platform, which complements the company's existing oncology platform, will focus on developing therapies that leverage the immune system's abilities to fight tumors.

Work is being divided into three innovation clusters. The therapeutic cancer vaccine cluster targets tumor antigens to elicit a tumor-specific immune response, while the cluster targeting cancer stem cells aims to prevent or reduce tumor formation and inhibit metastases. Finally, the immunotolerance cluster focuses on eliminating or circumventing inhibitory mechanisms in the immune system that prevent cancer cells from being recognized and attacked by the body.

"Our goal is to develop leading immunotherapies that work in combination with other therapeutic modalities, understanding that attacking multiple cancer targets simultaneously increases the possibility of therapeutic success," said Helen Sabzevari, head of immuno-oncology, global research and early development at Merck Serono.

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