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News Release

May 30, 2019
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MilliporeSigma Awards Grants to Biotechs Focused on Traumatic Brain Injury, Vaccine Development and Chronic Pain

  • Three U.S. companies awarded MilliporeSigma’s Advance Biotech Grant to advance molecule-to-market efforts

Burlington, Massachusetts, May 30, 2019 — MilliporeSigma today announced the winners of its Advance Biotech Grant program in North America during its Biotech Start-up Summit at the Cambridge Innovation Center. The grant is given to small- and mid-size biotechnology companies that need funding and expertise to get their therapies to market.

“With more than 60 percent of drugs in the pipeline today being developed by biotechs, we are committed to supporting these start-ups in developing groundbreaking therapeutics,” said Udit Batra, CEO, MilliporeSigma. “Our global grant program provides free access to our process development expertise, products and services to help accelerate molecule-to-market efforts.”

The three grant recipients are:

  • RAFT Pharmaceuticals (San Diego, California), for its approach to treat chronic pain using a biologic to selectively inhibit neuroinflammation without affecting normal motor or sensory function.
  • Rubicon Biotechnology (Anaheim, California), for developing a therapeutic protein, Fv-Hsp72, designed to protect and salvage cells damaged from an acute event, such as traumatic brain injury.
  • TechnoVax Inc. (Elmsford, New York), for developing a virus-like particle platform that facilitates the development and production of a range of vaccines targeting the prevention of respiratory diseases, hemorrhagic fevers, immunodeficiency and cancers.

Applicants from biotech companies across U.S. and Canada were asked to describe their projects, the medical needs they solve and process development challenges they face to be considered for the grant. In support of the growing biotech ecosystem, grant recipients receive between $40,000 and $100,000 in MilliporeSigma products and process development support.

“Rubicon is honored to have been selected as a winner in the Advance Biotech Grant,” said Richard Richieri, president of Rubicon Biotechnology. “Under the resources provided by this grant, we intend to develop a robust and scalable downstream process to purify our pre-clinical recombinant protein, Fv-Hsp72, by utilizing the various chromatography resins and filters offered by MilliporeSigma. Our objective is to use a bench-scale version of our process from bioreactor to drug substance for our in vitro and in vivo studies that will mimic our subsequent large-scale GMP process.”

MilliporeSigma selected the winning submissions based on the scientific and societal merit of therapy in development and process challenges and expertise gaps. The program is part of the company’s global biotech commitment to help bring therapies to market, leveraging decades of process development expertise, products, and support at any production scale. Additionally, MilliporeSigma’s BioReliance® End-to-End Services can address key challenges for biotech companies at all stages of molecule development and commercialization in any geography.

MilliporeSigma began the grant program in 2014. The rotating program runs every six months, in Europe, North America or Asia. To date, MilliporeSigma has awarded more than $1.2 million in products and services to 20 biotech companies in these regions. Earlier this year, our grants supported companies in Europe in tackling glioblastoma brain tumors and cardiovascular disease. Biotech companies in Asia with a molecule in development should apply before August 15, 2019 for the next round of grant funding.

Follow MilliporeSigma on Twitter @MilliporeSigma, on Facebook @MilliporeSigma and on LinkedIn.

About the Life Science Business of Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany

The Life Science business of Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, which operates as MilliporeSigma in the U.S. and Canada, has some 21,000 employees and 59 manufacturing sites worldwide, with a portfolio of more than 300,000 products focused on scientific discovery, biomanufacturing and testing services. Udit Batra is the global chief executive officer of MilliporeSigma.

Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany completed its $17 billion acquisition of Sigma-Aldrich in November 2015, creating a leader in the $125 billion global life science industry.

Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, a leading science and technology company, operates across healthcare, life science and performance materials. Around 52,000 employees work to make a positive difference to millions of people’s lives every day by creating more joyful and sustainable ways to live. From advancing gene-editing technologies and discovering unique ways to treat the most challenging diseases to enabling the intelligence of devices – the company is everywhere. In 2018, Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, generated sales of €14.8 billion in 66 countries.

The company holds the global rights to the name and trademark “Merck” internationally. The only exceptions are the United States and Canada, where the business sectors of Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany operate as EMD Serono in healthcare, MilliporeSigma in life science, and EMD Performance Materials. Since its founding 1668, scientific exploration and responsible entrepreneurship have been key to the company’s technological and scientific advances. To this day, the founding family remains the majority owner of the publicly listed company. For more information about Merck, KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, visit www.emdgroup.com.