Merck and BGI Establish Strategic Collaboration focused on Biomarkers and Genomic Technologies


September 12, 2011 11:05 pm ET

Merck (NYSE:MRK), known as MSD outside the United States and Canada, and
BGI, the world’s largest genomics center, announced today that they have
established a collaboration to focus on the discovery and development of
biomarkers and genomic technologies. Under the agreement scientists from
Merck and BGI will work closely together to identify and characterize
biomarkers with an emphasis on drug discovery, drug development and
diagnostics applications across a wide range of therapeutic areas.

“This strategic collaboration combines BGI’s genomic sequencing and
analytic capabilities with Merck’s expertise and experience in drug
development,” said Dr. Jeffrey Chodakewitz, vice president, Late Stage
Development, Merck Research Laboratories. “By working together we hope
to apply BGI’s comprehensive next-gen sequencing solutions to develop
important new tools to aid drug development and enable effective
tailoring of medicines to those patients most likely to respond.”

Under the terms of the agreement Merck and BGI will each be permitted to
propose projects to be undertaken under the collaboration. Both Merck
and BGI will provide resources, expertise, samples and other research
material as needed for the collaboration.

“We welcome this opportunity to bring extensive genomics experience to
our collaboration with Merck, as well as our expertise in
transcriptomics, proteomics and bioinformatics. Through this close
collaboration with Merck, we are confident that we will achieve more
important breakthroughs to accelerate disease genomics research and drug
R&D to facilitate improved health care,” said Ye Yin, President of
Research and Cooperation Division at BGI. “This collaboration will bring
mutual benefits to BGI and Merck in the next few years, but also support
the development of new techniques that will benefit the medical and
pharmaceutical industries as a whole.”

This agreement follows the signing, in September 2010, of a statement of
intent to initiate and develop a working relationship to explore areas
of mutual interest in healthcare research and discovery with the common
goal of creating value from the massive output of genomic information
enabled by next-generation, high-throughput DNA sequencing and analysis

About Merck

Today’s Merck is a global healthcare leader working to help the world be
well. Merck is known as MSD outside the United States and Canada.
Through our prescription medicines, vaccines, biologic therapies, and
consumer care and animal health products, we work with customers and
operate in more than 140 countries to deliver innovative health
solutions. We also demonstrate our commitment to increasing access to
healthcare through far-reaching policies, programs and partnerships that
donate and deliver our products to the people who need them. For more
information, visit

About BGI

BGI was founded in 1999 with the mission of being a premier scientific
partner to the global research community. The company’s goal is to make
leading-edge genomic science highly accessible through its investment in
infrastructure that leverages the best available technology, economies
of scale, and expert bioinformatics resources. BGI, and its affiliates,
BGI Americas and BGI Europe, have established partnerships and
collaborations with leading academic and government research
institutions as well as global biotechnology and pharmaceutical
companies, supporting a variety of disease, agricultural, environmental,
and related applications.

BGI has established a proven track record of excellence, delivering
results with high efficiency and accuracy for innovative, high-profile
research which has generated over 170 publications in top-tier journals
such as Nature and Science. These accomplishments include sequencing one
percent of the human genome for the International Human Genome Project,
contributing 10 percent to the International Human HapMap Project,
carrying out research to combat SARS and German deadly E. coli,
playing a key role in the Sino-British Chicken Genome Project, and
completing the sequence of the rice genome, the silkworm genome, the
first Asian diploid genome, the potato genome, and, most recently, 1000
genomes and human Gut metagenome.

For more information about BGI please visit

Merck Forward-Looking Statement

This news release includes “forward-looking statements” within the
meaning of the safe harbor provisions of the United States Private
Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Such statements may include,
but are not limited to, statements about the benefits of the merger
between Merck and Schering-Plough, including future financial and
operating results, the combined company’s plans, objectives,
expectations and intentions and other statements that are not historical
facts. Such statements are based upon the current beliefs and
expectations of Merck’s management and are subject to significant risks
and uncertainties. Actual results may differ from those set forth in the
forward-looking statements.

The following factors, among others, could cause actual results to
differ from those set forth in the forward-looking statements: the
possibility that the expected synergies from the merger of Merck and
Schering-Plough will not be realized, or will not be realized within the
expected time period; the impact of pharmaceutical industry regulation
and health care legislation; the risk that the businesses will not be
integrated successfully; disruption from the merger making it more
difficult to maintain business and operational relationships; Merck’s
ability to accurately predict future market conditions; dependence on
the effectiveness of Merck’s patents and other protections for
innovative products; the risk of new and changing regulation and health
policies in the United States and internationally and the exposure to
litigation and/or regulatory actions.

Merck undertakes no obligation to publicly update any forward-looking
statement, whether as a result of new information, future events or
otherwise. Additional factors that could cause results to differ
materially from those described in the forward-looking statements can be
found in Merck’s 2010 Annual Report on Form 10-K and the company’s other
filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) available at
the SEC’s Internet site (

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Media Contacts:
Ian McConnell, (908) 423-3046
BGI Americas
Joyce Peng, Ph.D., (626) 222-5584
Investor Contact:
Carol Ferguson, (908) 423-4465

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