Site will conduct genetic studies in the Chinese population focused on cancer and neurodegenerative diseases.

Merck Serono has officially opened its Chinese R&D laboratory, at CRO Pharmaron’s new campus at the Beijing Economic and Technological Development Area. The Merck Serono laboratory will focus on clinical bioanalysis and biomarker characterization, which the firm says will allow it to identify gene mutations prevalent in the Chinese population, and work on the early detection of diseases and the development of personalized medicines for cancer and neurodegenerative diseases.

Based in the U.S. and China, Pharmaron recently completed the first phase of the new Beijing campus, which will house the firm’s drug discovery services operation including chemistry, DMPK, biology, pharmacology, and GLP bioanalysis. The firm says inauguration of the Merck Serono Laboratory at its new facility in China represents the start of a long-term collaboration between the firms.

“Through this unique partnership, we are providing Merck Serono with a favorable environment as well as qualified staff to lead their drug development programs for local and regional clinical trials against local diseases and unmet medical needs,” remarks Bolian Lou, Ph.D., Pharmaron chairman and CEO. “We have always envisioned building a new R&D campus and inviting the world’s top scientists to collaborate with Pharmaron.”

Pharmaron offers a full spectrum of preclinical services to the pharma industry, spanning chemistry, biology, DMPK, in vivo pharmacology, toxicology, preclinical services, and pharmaceutical development and manufacturing. The firm has over 1,400 employees in China and the U.S., In February Pharmaron raised over $40 million in a Series C round of financing with existing and new investors.

A month earlier it completed the acquisition of CRO Bridge Laboratories China, which specializes in offering western standard GLP-compliant toxicology services to pharmaceutical and biotech companies worldwide. Pharmaron said that with the acquisition of Bridge Laboratories, it is now China’s first integrated CRO capable of supporting clients with drug discovery and development processes in support of IND filings. 

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