IRBM Extends Peptide Therapeutics Collaboration with Merck & Co. Inc., Rahway NJ USA

ROME, June 22, 2023 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — IRBM, an innovative contract research organization, today announced it has signed a new agreement with Merck & Co. Inc., Rahway NJ USA, known as MSD outside the USA and Canada, to continue their collaboration in the peptide therapeutics area.

“The success of this collaboration is reflected by the outstanding achievements in the delivery of orally available peptide candidates,” said Elisabetta Bianchi, Senior Director of Peptide Chemistry at IRBM. “We are thrilled to continue this collaboration as part of our mission to advance impactful agents into the clinic.”

IRBM’s Chief Science Officer Carlo Toniatti said, “We are immensely proud to combine IRBM’s first-class scientific expertise in peptide design and synthesis with Merck & Co. Inc., Rahway NJ USA’s exceptional drug development capabilities with a focus on delivering innovative therapies to patients in need.”

“At MSD, we continue to evaluate the opportunities for peptide-based therapeutic candidates across multiple indications,” said Rob Garbaccio, Vice President, Head of Discovery Chemistry at MSD Research Laboratories. “We look forward to continuing our productive collaboration with our colleagues at IRBM in this compelling area of research.”

In recent years, significant advances have been made in peptide discovery through the well-established phage and mRNA display platforms and with major progress achieved for half-life extension strategies and the use of formulation enhancers to support oral route administration. The collaboration has taken advantage of these novel technologies to develop peptide candidates that progress into the clinic.

IRBM has built broad expertise in peptide drug development. The established integrated platform covers the entire range of activities required to discover and develop novel peptide hits into optimized leads. The delivery of safe and effective candidate peptide drugs is supported by the use of phage display peptide libraries for hit identification, advanced synthetic strategies from macrocycles to proteins, molecular design and engineering, structural biology, biochemical, biophysical and cell-based assay to enable structural activity relationship studies as well as in vitro and in vivo ADME studies.

Background Information


IRBM is an innovative contract research organization working across all aspects of drug discovery and early development for different modalities – small molecules, peptides, and antibodies. We foster collaborations with organizations from the pharmaceutical, biotech and academic sectors to accelerate drug discovery from target validation and hit identification to candidate nomination. Our multidisciplinary team work at a state-of-the-art R&D facility near Rome where projects are carried out “under one roof” enabling rapid cycle times and close integration of the scientific teams. IRBM’s scientists have discovered several drugs that are on the market, and more than 25 compounds have gone into clinical testing. The company was founded in 2010, as a spin-off from Merck & Co. Rahway NJ USA. Now in our 14th year as an independent research organisation, we have laid the foundations to become a global centre for excellence in all aspects of drug discovery and early development.

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