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We’re advancing research to tackle the complexities of some of the most devastating nervous system disorders in an effort to develop medicines that may treat, slow progression or prevent these diseases.


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Research | Our focus | Careers I Collaborations | Initiatives

Neuroscience discovery and development

Neuroscience is evolving. New powerful imaging technologies and insights from human genetics and cell biology are helping us better understand disease-related changes in the brain and the nervous system. These rapidly emerging insights are enabling the development of new approaches to treating devastating diseases of the nervous system.

Exploring potential disease-modifying approaches

Our research is focused on discovering and developing novel therapeutics for a host of nervous system disorders. We're pursuing a variety of new approaches as we strive to understand the biology behind brain health, neurodegeneration and the nervous system. We're evaluating targets that have been implicated in many nervous system disorders and investing in new research on important biological functions including neuroimmunology, lysosomal function and protein homeostasis.

Researching symptom control

Our symptomatic research is focused on alleviating symptoms associated with nervous system disorders, including pain, excessive sleepiness and psychosis. By studying both disease modification and symptomatic relief, we hope to develop therapies with the potential to improve quality of life.


Ken Griffin Alpha-synuclein Imaging Competition

In 2023, the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson's Research announced Merck as the winner of the Ken Griffin Alpha-synuclein Imaging Competition. Alpha-synuclein is a protein that's associated with neurodegenerative diseases such as Parkinson's disease and is found in abnormal clumps called Lewy bodies. With the number of people impacted by Parkinson's disease increasing, we're committed to our work in this area and proud of this recognition by the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson's Research.

Our focus on research and treatments for neurological disorders

Our scientists are working to discover and develop novel therapeutics for a host of diseases involving the nervous system, which continue to represent one of the greatest therapeutic challenges of our time.

Careers at Merck

Join our team of world-class experts to explore new approaches for some of the world’s most devastating diseases of the nervous system with the goal of delivering meaningful impact to patients.

We’re recruiting for positions across the professional spectrum, including interns, co-ops and postdoctoral research fellows.

Business development & licensing

We follow the science where we believe we can make the greatest difference, now and in the future. We’ve executed 10+ business development deals in neuroscience, helping to augment and diversify our growing pipeline.

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Following our acquisition of Caraway Therapeutics, we're evaluating novel mechanisms of modulation of lysosomal function in an effort to advance disease-modifying therapies for progressive neurodegenerative diseases.
We're evaluating a novel approach to the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease and amnestic mild cognitive impairment (MCI) as part of an exclusive worldwide license agreement with Teijin Pharma.

We’ve entered into a strategic research collaboration with Cerevance for the discovery of novel targets in Alzheimer’s disease.

We've entered into a strategic research collaboration with Bionomics to evaluate the ability to target cognitive dysfunction associated with Alzheimer's disease and other central nervous system conditions.

Initiatives that can make a difference

Given the complexities of neurological disorders, patients and their caregivers often require multidisciplinary care that may involve physicians, nurses, social workers and community-based service providers. That’s why we support programs to help effectively coordinate care and provide needed social support for patients and their caregivers.

We have a long-standing relationship with the Alliance for Aging Research (ACT-AD), supporting their efforts around Alzheimer’s disease awareness. This includes the ACT-AD Coalition, a coalition of more than 50 national non-profit health professional, patient, business, health provider and consumer organizations dedicated to advancing research for Alzheimer’s disease and all dementias.

We're supporters of Project PAUSE (Psychoactive Appropriate Use for Safety and Effectiveness), which aims to educate stakeholders on ways to improve clinical care in long-term care settings for neurodegenerative disorders.