Merck Invests $1.5 Million in TEM Imaging Service Laboratory

February 28, 2008
Pharmaceutical Technology Editors
ePT--the Electronic Newsletter of Pharmaceutical Technology

Merck Capital Ventures, a subsidiary of Merck & Co., has invested $1.5 million to expand its service laboratory. The transaction with NanoImaging Services will add high-resolution, three-dimensional transmission electron microscope (TEM) capability, which allows biopharmaceutical researchers to see complex macromolecular structures they create with resolution as high as one nanometer.

San Diego, CA (Feb. 26)-Merck Capital Ventures, a subsidiary of Merck & Co., invested $1.5 million to expand its service laboratory. The transaction with NanoImaging Services will add high-resolution, three-dimensional transmission electron microscope (TEM) capability, which allows biopharmaceutical researchers to see complex macromolecular structures they create with resolution as high as 1 nm.

Biopharmaceutical manufacturers and nanotechnology researchers have taken an increased interest in TEM capabilities. TEM works with a wide range of hydrated specimen, including proteins, protein complexes, viruses, virus-like particles, biological vaccines, lipid vesicles, and cell-free lysates.

“It provides powerful visual support for structural characterization and validation throughout the drug-development pipeline-promising to shorten development cycles and improve confidence at every stage,” said Clint Potter, CEO of NanoImaging, in a prepared statement.

NanoImaging previously used “cryoTEM” technology to contribute to Merck’s “Gardasil” characterization project. The collaboration included specimen preparation, microscope control and automation, and data tracking. The cryoTEM technique involves preserving solution in either negative stain or a thin sheet of vitreous ice (i.e., cryo-preservation). The cryoTEM technique maintains the specimen in its hydrated state.