European ScreeningPort entered into an agreement with Merck KGaA to aid in drug discovery for multiple sclerosis. The firm will establish a high-throughput screening (HTS) assay for a target implicated in the disease.
European ScreeningPort will evaluate a variety of biochemical and cellular assay formats. Ultimately, it is envisaged that an appropriate HTS assay will be developed that can be employed in a small molecule screening campaign to identify starting points for drug discovery.
European ScreeningPort is a public-private-partnership offering fee-for-service small molecule screening to academic institutions. It aims to provide a link in Europe between academic research and the pharmaceutical industry.
Its deal with Merck was inked as part of the New Drugs Fighting Neurological Diseases Consortium (NEU²). It also includes Bionamics, Evotec, and the University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf. The NEU² consortium focuses on the development of novel therapies against neurological diseases with a specific focus on multiple sclerosis. Efforts are coordinated by Bionamics, an independent project management company and founder of NEU².