Stem Pharm, Inc. announced today that the company has joined the first biopharmaceutical cohort of
Merck Digital Sciences Studio (“MDSS”). MDSS is a collaboration between Merck, Microsoft for Startups,
and the New Jersey Innovation Institute, a New Jersey Institute of Technology subsidiary, with direct
investments from Merck Global Health Innovation Fund, Northpond Ventures, and McKesson Ventures.
This 10-month startup accelerator program is designed to enable the generation of innovative
technologies for drug discovery and development. Cohort companies will have opportunities to pilot
novel life sciences technologies in collaboration with discovery and clinical scientists at Merck.
“Participation in MDSS provides Stem Pharm with a fantastic opportunity to collaborate and network
with Merck scientists that are experts in neuroscience, neurological drug discovery, genomics, and
machine learning applications,” said Steven Visuri, CEO of Stem Pharm. “Stem Pharm’s 3D human neural
organoid platform is an ideal fit for the MDSS program – an innovative technology that will enable
discovery and validation of new drug candidates to treat debilitating neurological diseases.”
Stem Pharm’s innovative 3D human neural organoids feature microglia, the brain’s resident immune
cells, making them particularly suited to study diseases and disorders associated with
neuroinflammation, such as neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s disease, brain cancers, and
stroke. These diseases have limited options for therapeutic interventions and are associated with some
of the lowest new drug approval rates. Stem Pharm is working to change the paradigm for these
diseases by enabling the use of physiologically relevant human biology in early drug discovery to explore
disease pathways and mechanisms and identify and validate novel targets. “We have demonstrated that
our ‘brain models’ strongly correlate with human in vivo responses and can model features of human
neurodegeneration not observed in rodent models,” said Visuri.
About Stem Pharm
Stem Pharm, Inc. improves the clinical translation of neurologic drug development by providing
physiologically relevant in vitro human models of complex neurologic diseases to biopharmaceutical
companies for use in drug discovery and preclinical development. Based in Madison, WI, a hub for
innovative stem cell and biosciences research, Stem Pharm leverages its proprietary synthetic
biomaterials to develop physiologically relevant, 3D human stem cell derived neural organoids. Stem
Pharm partners with biopharmaceutical companies to apply these organoids for the discovery and
validation of new disease targets and therapeutics. For more information, visit stempharm.com.