Collaboration in Healthcare - Strategic Focus & Partnerships

Our innovations in specialty care enable us to deliver the targeted medicines and novel, patient-friendly drug delivery systems that make a difference to patients, physicians and caregivers around the world.

EMD Serono is the healthcare business of Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany

Matthias Muellenbeck

Head of Global Business Development & Alliance Management

Building Alliances for patient-centric Solutions

For us, partnering is a key element in delivering meaningful therapies to patients with unmet medical needs. To complement our company's own R&D efforts, we collaborate with strategic partners to source new compounds, gain access to the latest technology platforms, and develop novel therapeutics for patients.

Our goal is to craft a pipeline that is a mix of both internal and externally-sourced assets that are in line with the company’s growth goals and strategically fit with both commercial and developmental strengths.

Independent from our therapeutic areas of focus, we are consciously agnostic of the source of assets that can enrich our global commercial and regional portfolio. The focus is first and foremost on the quality and potential benefit these assets can bring to patients. We consider all opportunities that have the potential to create value using innovative deal structures and creative alliances.

We are particularly interested in opportunities that will support our strategic business areas.

Building Alliances For Patient-centric Solutions

We are particularly interested in opportunities that will support our strategic business areas.


As an active player in Oncology, we strive to achieve a focused leadership position in selected indications. We are actively searching and evaluating clinical stage opportunities to strengthen our clinical pipeline. Priority is given to assets that are in development in our core indications, which include SCCHN, CRC and urothelial cancers.

For preclinical and early-stage clinical assets, we are actively searching assets/technologies which can support our Oncology R&D groups with a balanced portfolio of innovative targets and established approaches. Our four Innovation Clusters are organized as:

  • Oncogenic signaling
  • Antibody-Drug Conjugates
  • DNA Damage Repair
  • Tumor Immunology

From a modality perspective, we are largely focusing on biologics, small molecules incl. TPDs, and ADCs. While we are open to explore clinical collaborations of our assets with novel modalities such as cell & gene therapies, mRNA therapeutics, cancer vaccines and oncolytic viruses, we would require clinical proof of concept as a starting point for deeper partnerships.

In the oncogenic signaling space, we are particularly interested in oncogenic alterations and co-dependencies observed in molecularly defined tumors, triggering apoptosis to sensitize for chemo- and targeted therapies, as well as targeting tumors with non-oncogene addiction to RNA processing. Our ADC experts are focusing on next-generation ADCs based on innovative protein, linker and payload technologies. Within the DNA Damage Response field, we are actively seeking novel concepts that focus on synthetic lethality, including potential combination partners for our internal assets. Lastly, our Immuno-Oncology experts are exploring tumor antigen-targeted immune agonists, enhancers of tumor-specific T cell responses using highly selective small molecules, as well as immune agonist ADCs and immune cell-depleting ADCs.

In addition to pre-clinical and clinical assets, we are interested in biomarker and technology platforms for the advancement of cancer (immuno)therapies.
Please contact the GBD team for partnership proposals.  


Our focus in Immuno-Oncology is on actively stimulating the immune system, eliminating inhibitory mechanisms and targeting cancer stem cells. The Biopharma Immuno-Oncology strategy is based on four Innovation Clusters:

  • Target “hot” tumors (high level of immune infiltration) and overcome resistance
  • Target tumor myeloid and stromal factors
  • Target “cold” tumors (low level of immune infiltration) to make them “hot”
  • Identify novel resistance pathways

Our search space targeting “hot” tumors includes approaches on T-cell activation and co-stimulation, immune checkpoints beyond PD-1/PD-L1, or metabolic suppression. Profiling of tumor myeloid cells to find novel targets, new ways to inhibit myeloid suppressor cells (MDSC) and enhance macrophage and dendritic cell activity are also of interest to us. New routes to turn “cold” tumors into “hot” tumors may include combination approaches with Antibody-Drug-Conjugate or DNA-repair inhibitors, as well as immunocytokines and T-cell or NK cell re-directed therapies.

In addition to preclinical and clinical assets, we are also interested in biomarker and technology platforms for the advancement of cancer immunotherapies.

Please contact the GBD team in case you are looking for a partner post clinical Proof of Concept. Please contact the EI team for proposal in the pre-clinical and early clinical space up to clinical Proof of Concept.

Gregor Fachinger

Head of Global BD Immuno-Oncology and Oncology

Neurology & Immunology

Our focus is the development of best-in-disease therapeutics in neurological and immunological diseases, with particular interest in:

  • Neuromuscular and neuroinflammatory diseases such as Myasthenia Gravis (MG) or Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS)
  • CNS injury such as Acute Ischemic Stroke (AIS) or Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI)
  • Multiple Sclerosis (MS)
  • Peripheral autoimmune diseases such as Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (SLE) or Lupus Nephritis (LN)
  • Agents with the potential to induce immune tolerance/restore immune homeostasis.

Additional areas of interest include the following:

  • Neurodegenerative diseases such as Huntington’s Disease (HD), movement disorders such as Stereotypic Movement Disorder (SMD) as well as sleep disorder such as Narcolepsy
  • For these areas we are primarily interested in products with a highly differentiated profile relative to those in the market or undergoing development (post Proof-of-Concept stage).

We have a focus on biologics (e.g., monoclonal or bispecific antibodies; fusion proteins, with potential for sub-cutaneous delivery), orally bioavailable small molecule agents with superior drug-like profiles or targeted therapies including novel antibody drug conjugates. Our interest also extends to novel targets with strong and differentiated validation and with a well-established preclinical profile, precision medicine/patient stratification approaches and novel drug discovery platform technologies. We are also interested in cell and gene therapies in post Proof-of-Concept stage.
Please contact the GBD team for partnership proposals.  

Marta Helena Lesko

Head of Global BD N&I


As a world leader in fertility treatment, and aspiring to be an integrated fertility treatment partner we develop and provide innovative products, devices and support services to help infertile couples at every stage of the fertility treatment cycle, from follicular development to early pregnancy.

We actively search and evaluate preclinical and clinical assets and technologies that are able to support and strengthen our aspiration for innovation, and have clear differentiation potential.

Our search space includes innovative developments in the field of IVF, drug assets, IVF lab diagnostics solutions, as well as Artificial Intelligence technologies.


Our purpose is to bring better health to every single cardiometabolic and endocrine patient, helping them to live their life to its full potential. We must address chronic diseases such as diabetes, hypertension, growth hormone disorders or hypothyroidism, in view of their impact on health and society. Through our leading and affordable portfolio, ‘beyond the pill’ solutions and partnerships, we are helping to improve awareness, diagnosis, treatment and adherence of these diseases.

Every day, some 70 million patients across the globe use our trusted medicines like Glucophage® and Glucovance® (Diabetes); Concor® (Cardiovascular); Euthyrox® (Thyroids) or Saizen® (Growth hormone deficiency). Our long-lasting and successful presence in Emerging Markets is based on strong local commercial and medical infrastructure as well as continued investment in our established brands.

We want to fuel additional growth via branded portfolio expansion and meet regional and global commercial needs. We strive to offer patients and physicians products, solutions and services that address unmet medical and patient needs in:

  • Cardiovascular Disease
    • Hypertension
    • Chronic Heart Failure
    • Coronary Heart Diseases
    • Hyperlipidaemia
  • Type 2 Diabetes
  • Obesity   
  • Thyroid Disorders
  • Pediatric Growth Hormone Deficiency

  • Service & digital solutions at Point-of-Care that create value beyond the product

Jan Moeller

Head of Global BD CM&E and Fertility

Technologies & Externalizations

To support our Discovery and Development Technologies (DDTech) function as well as our Research and Development Units, we actively search and evaluate novel technologies in two major areas:

Molecular, Technology and Screening Platforms

  • Molecular platforms complementing our mAbs/binders/bispecific, ADC, and targeted protein degradation programs.
  • New molecular approaches for targeted therapy via mAbs, ADCs, PROTACs/induced proximity, RNA targeting with small molecules.
  • Innovative platforms to screen for SMEs (vs HTS & classical DELT).
  • Ultra-high throughput clonal and functional screening of molecular binders (mAbs).
  • Lab technologies, such as unique culture systems to assess drug effects on tumor-crosstalk as well as single-cell analytic approaches to investigate tumor heterogeneity and drug resistance.
  • Next generation platforms to replace animal studies and provide improved translation (i. e. human derived iPSC-based models/assays), and safety specific relevant Microphysiological Systems (MPS) models.

AI-augmented Technologies & Datasets

  • Next-Gen approaches for AI powered drug discovery for small molecules and biological therapeutics.
  • AI/ML/LLM solutions for target identification and subsequent development of novel drug entities across modalities.
  • Novel in silico prediction approaches connecting physical parameters for focused PK, immunization, protein-ligand, protein-protein insights.
  • Access to large scale multi-omics datasets, HOR and RWD in the area of oncology and immuno-oncology.
  • RWD sets for the improvement of clinical development e.g., clinical patient stratification, side selection.

Roby Kanichay

Head of Global BD Technologies & Externalizations

Global Health

We have dedicated ourselves to improving access to health in underserved populations with a focus on infectious diseases – especially malaria and schistosomiasis. Here we can contribute the competencies we have acquired from working at the interface of medicines, chemicals and diagnostics.

For most of these diseases, young children are the most vulnerable age group needing a suitable treatment. The goal is to develop innovative and integrated health solutions (drugs, diagnostics, medical devices, vector controls and digital health tools) for the most vulnerable populations in developing countries.

Externalization Network

We are regularly reviewing our development candidate portfolio and are actively seeking partnerships for assets that we have strategically deprioritized. Such assets are typically in the late stage-preclinical / early-stage clinical development stage and fall in the areas of oncology, immuno-oncology, and immunology.

We are open to discuss partnering proposals with pharma- and biotech organizations to license such assets, but are also open to build new companies around such assets with VC/PE investors.

Access to Innovation APAC

As a global science driven pharmaceutical company, we are dedicated to not only research, develop and commercialize our therapeutics worldwide, but also to source innovation and collaborate on a global scale. While the technology and therapeutic area specific contacts named above are located either at our Darmstadt headquarters or the Boston R&D site, we have specific Asia Pacific representatives located in Singapore, Shanghai and Tokyo. They are the first point of contact for any partnership proposals from the Asia Pacific region and will facilitate the interaction with the global expert teams.

Birgit Reitmaier

Head of Business Development Asia

New Therapeutic Areas

We are seeking to build our presence in New Therapeutic Areas focused on rare diseases in fields with high unmet need and limited competition where there is strong pricing potential. We seek post-proof-of-concept (POC) assets in these areas that have the potential to deliver transformative efficacy potential, and we prefer opportunities that include U.S. rights.

From a modality perspective, our focus is on small molecules, biologics, ADCs, TPDs, and mRNA, but we are open to all modalities. For new modalities such as cell and gene therapies, robust CMC will be of particular importance in addition to POC.

Please contact the Global Business Development team for partnership proposals.

Alan Ginsberg

Head of Business Development New Therapeutic Area

Alliance Management

Ensuring our alliances are supported by the right teams with the right resources is a priority for us. Our focus is on:

  • Maximizing the value of the alliance for both partners, and reducing the risk of failure
  • Resolving issues in advance in the best interest of the projects
  • Providing a lead alliance governance structure
  • Monitoring whether the legal framework of current alliances still reflect the initial objectives in light of the environmental changes
  • New Opportunities: Identifying new opportunities with current partners

Markus Kropf

Head of Global Alliance Management