EMD Serono and Fast Forward are joining forces to evaluate and finance multiple sclerosis (MS) research projects. Merck KGaA, EMD’s parent company, will provide up to $19 million to support early-stage clinical development projects with firms, academic institutions, or individual researchers.
The agreement is initially for a two-year period but could be extended by three years. Fast Forward will disseminate requests for proposals (RFPs) in the second quarter with initial funding anticipated by December. The overall selection of program awardees will be made exclusively by Fast Forward with participation by EMD Serono under the organization’s standard assessment process.
Fast Forward was established by the National Multiple Sclerosis Society to help bridge the gap between research and drug development. The Early Stage Commercial Company Fund and the Innovation Accelerator Fund, the two programs in the EMD Serono collaboration, complement these efforts. The programs focus on providing resources to underfunded stages of the drug development process.