Merck Digital Sciences Studio announces launch of 1st cohort

Merck Digital Sciences Studio, a collaboration between Merck, Microsoft for Startups and the New Jersey Innovation Institute, has officially launched, according to a Friday announcement.

The collaborative cohort located in Newark and Cambridge, Massachusetts, will focus on important and disruptive biotechnical approaches in artificial intelligence and machine learning, with expertise and tools from clinical scientists to continue Merck’s mission to strengthen the life sciences ecosystem.

The 10-month startup accelerator program, with direct investments from Merck Global Health Innovation Fund, Northpond Ventures and McKesson Ventures, plans to empower members and enable the generation of innovative digital technologies for drug discovery and development through hands-on mentorship, connection opportunities with industry leading partners and training in an active entrepreneurial setting.

The program includes workshops, mentorship, coaching, subsidized office space and access to Microsoft’s Founders Hub resources, including Azure Cloud computing credits.

The cohort includes:

  • Andson Biotech: Andson Biotech’s mission is to drive the discovery, development and manufacturing of the next generation of advanced therapies. Its analytical platforms are tailored for modern biopharma process development and control, all the way from lab to market.
  • Deep Forest Sciences: Deep Forest Sciences is working to make cutting edge artificial intelligence and machine learning tools for drug discovery accessible to scientists in the biotech industry. It uses Chiron to leverage large scientific foundation models to accelerate discovery of new molecules, materials, designs and more.
  • is building a conversion rate optimization platform for clinical-grade AI. By orchestrating AI-as-a-Medical-Device, is creating the validation infrastructure to robust, safe and equitable health care AI algorithms for all.
  • Magna Labs: Magna Labs provides quality management tools and automation to validate and optimize high-quality bioinformatic software throughout development, accelerating the innovation and delivery of precision science & medicine.
  • IndyGeneUS AI: IndyGeneUS AI accelerates the discovery, development and manufacturing of advanced therapeutics to address health disparities that African diaspora populations face in accessing high-quality, equitable health care.
  • Pepper Bio: Pepper Bio built the world’s first transomics platform to navigate the fastest & safest route to positive patient outcomes. Pepper Bio wants to create a world where there are no untreatable diseases by unraveling complex biology to develop life-saving medicine.
  • SciMar ONE: SciMar’s proprietary technology uses cloud and AI to modernize drug development’s manual process and help pharma get life-changing therapies to patients faster.
  • Stem Pharm: Stem Pharm improves the clinical translation of neurologic drug development by providing physiologically relevant in vitro human models of complex neurologic diseases to pharma companies for use in drug discovery and preclinical development.
  • Perceiv AI: Perceiv AI is an AI-driven precision medicine company developing a powerful multimodal prognostic platform to forecast disease progression in age-related diseases like Alzheimer’s. By providing a window into individual patients’ disease progression, Perceiv AI aims to accelerate and de-risk the development of new therapies while enabling timelier diagnoses.