Media Releases

Merck gives $7.5 million to the Structural Genomics Consortium at U of T

February 4, 2015

TORONTO, ON — Glob­al health­care leader Mer­ck has joined the Struc­tur­al Genomics Con­sor­tium (SGC) at the Uni­ver­si­ty of Toron­to with a $7.5 mil­lion con­tri­bu­tion.

The SGC is a pub­lic-pri­vate part­ner­ship that sup­ports the dis­cov­ery of new med­i­cines through open access research. Merck’s con­tri­bu­tion will fund the devel­op­ment of new chem­i­cal probes to study genet­ic traits. The probes will expand the under­stand­ing of biol­o­gy in mul­ti­ple dis­ease areas, par­tic­u­lar­ly can­cer and inflam­ma­to­ry dis­eases.

“I would like to thank Mer­ck Cana­da and to con­grat­u­late all of the part­ners in the Struc­tur­al Genomics Con­sor­tium. In par­tic­u­lar I salute Pro­fes­sor Aled Edwards, the SGC’s founder and cur­rent CEO, ‎ for his absolute­ly bril­liant lead­er­ship. Pro­fes­sor Edwards and his col­leagues are show­ing that it real­ly is pos­si­ble to make a dif­fer­ence – even in mat­ters of great­est com­plex­i­ty and high­est urgency – when we work togeth­er for the com­mon good,” said Pro­fes­sor Mer­ic Gertler, pres­i­dent of the Uni­ver­si­ty of Toron­to.

SGC’s track record for deliv­er­ing high-qual­i­ty sci­ence, along with Toronto’s ecosys­tem of world-class hos­pi­tals and research labs, attract­ed Merck’s sup­port.

“Mer­ck is very pleased to be able to encour­age inno­va­tion and research across an estab­lished SGC col­lab­o­ra­tive net­work of more than 250 aca­d­e­m­ic lab­o­ra­to­ries at lead­ing insti­tu­tions,” said Chir­fi Guin­do, pres­i­dent and man­ag­ing direc­tor, Mer­ck Cana­da Inc.

The con­tri­bu­tion was applaud­ed by the Hon­ourable Reza Mori­di, Ontario Min­is­ter of Research and Inno­va­tion, who attend­ed the announce­ment.

“This dona­tion will con­tribute to the ‘open-sourced’ infor­ma­tion avail­able for the pub­lic and pri­vate sec­tors and lead to new inno­v­a­tive tech­nolo­gies and med­ica­tions,” Mori­di said. “Ontario rec­og­nizes that in a high­ly com­pet­i­tive glob­al econ­o­my, col­lab­o­ra­tions like this are crit­i­cal to pro­pel Ontario for­ward as a world leader in life sci­ences.”

The SGC’s mis­sion, Edwards explained, is to make all of its research out­put avail­able to the sci­en­tif­ic com­mu­ni­ty with no strings attached and to cre­ate an open col­lab­o­ra­tive net­work to advance sci­ence.

“At the heart of our part­ner­ship is a com­mit­ment to trans­paren­cy and qual­i­ty.  We’d like to thank the Ontario gov­ern­ment for sup­port­ing the ecosys­tem that enables our project, and also to thank our sci­en­tif­ic col­lab­o­ra­tors in Mer­ck and in the Ontario hos­pi­tals who share the com­mit­ment to open sci­ence,” said Edwards.