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BioMed X and Merck launch new Oncology research programme

Published on 05/07/21 at 08:45am

BioMed X and Merck have launched a new joint research programme in oncology.

The new program will explore the role of extrachromosomal DNA in cancer, and it will be alongside the research of two ongoing oncology programs at BioMed X in the fields of DNA damage response and RNA splicing.

Extrachromosomal circular DNA (ecDNA) was recently found to be particularly abundant in multiple human cancer cells, although its frequency varies among different cancer types.

Elevated levels of ecDNA have been considered to be correlated with poor clinical outcome in human cancers.

Christian Tidona, Founder and Managing Director of the BioMed X Institute, said: “We are pleased to extend our collaboration even further in the field of cancer research.

“This new program will strengthen our expertise at the forefront of deep cancer biology which can potentially lead to better treatment options for patients.”

The aim of the project will be to generate a comprehensive atlas of extrachromosomal DNA in human cancer tissues, to investigate how (onco)genes in ecDNA could contribute to tumorigenesis, disease progression, tumour heterogeneity, metastasis, and treatment resistance, and to develop novel therapeutic strategies based on oncogenic alterations in ecDNA.

Lilly Subbotin

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