Search for suitable technologies for production & separation & purification of IgM antibodies - Biowebspin | Biowebspin
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External open innovation partner programSearch for suitable technologies for production & separation & purification of IgM antibodies

IgMs are predominantly large pentameric structures allowing the building of bridges between encountered epitopes on molecules that are too distant as to be connected by smaller IgG antibodies.

IgM is built as the first antibody during an immune response and is responsible for e.g. agglutination and cytolytic reactions since its pentameric structure.

However due to its structural complexity the usage of IgM as a biotechnological compound is rather sophisticated and Merck is interested in methods, protocolls and experiences for this purpose

What we are looking for

Merck is seeking to produce hexameric and pentameric IgM antibodies. The antibody should be used to develop a drug candidate for therapeutic interventions in patients suffering from autoimmune diseases.

We are searching for technologies to overcome the manufacturing challenges surrounding the production & separation &purification of IgM antibodies from cell culture supernatants.

Highly purified IgM preparations are needed for further research of several immunological findings.

Existing challenge:

Merck is currently using a transient transfection of a HEK293T cellline, transfected with Calcium-Phosphate method. Transfection efficiency and amount of produced IgM antibody in the supernatant of transfected HEK293T cells is satisfactory but purification and separation methods do not work properly. Protein L columns bind the IgM antibody inefficiently and over 90% of the loaded IgM is found in the flow through. By using size exclusion separation-methods, it was observed that the IgM antibody irreversibly binds to the column membrane.

What we offer and how does it work

All proposals will be assessed by our Research & Development organization. Based on the level of interest within our research portfolio, a variety of opportunities ranging from financial support (e.g. success based funding packages), to participation in the development of the method or concept of the applicant’s proposal are possible.

We anticipate proposals from a wide range of academic as well as spin-off or TTOs.

The research team at Merck Biopharma will evaluate the proposals and assess their novelty and feasibility as well as their strategic fit into the company’s long-term focus. Proponents that submit proposals of interest will be contacted within four weeks of submission to clarify additional details concerning the underlying science as well as intellectual property rights, timelines, etc.
Submissions open until March 31st, 2017.

What to submit

Proponents should provide :

  • Effective options to produce, separate and purify IgM antibody, even in research quantities. Methods should be feasible to produce highly purified IgM preparations
  • Detailed experience of tested protocols which did not work and which have been analyzed concerning its failures.

Privacy, confidentiality & FAQ

While Merck will not share the information beyond its own staff, your initial proposal should contain only non-confidential information.

If your proposal is selected, you will be requested to complete a Confidentiality Disclosure Agreement (CDA) and to confirm ability to execute a Materials Transfer Agreement (MTA).


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Biowebspin is a matchmaking platform between academia & industry. Biowebspin is not involved in the IP discussion and is not charging any success or license fees. Your «Open Innovation» opportunities on Biowebspin are only visible by industrials and the Biowebspin team. You can remove your data at any time. Biowebspin strongly recommends that you do not enter any confidential data or if you do so, that your technology transfer office agrees the submission of your pre-proposal on Biowebspin. If you directly submit your pre-proposal on an industrial partner website, you will agree their terms, conditions and privacy policy of our industrial partner website. Biowebspin is not responsible for the content, accuracy, or opinion of its industrial partner website. As a Swiss International company, Biowebspin has high standard security and privacy system. Biowebspin is in accordance with the Federal Data Protection and Information Commissioner. Contact us for more information about the terms and conditions of the matchmaking service of Biowebspin.


Merck KGaA is a leading science and technology company in healthcare, life science and performance materials. From developing new therapies that treat and prevent disease to helping people in need, Merck KGaA is committed to improving health and well-being around the world

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