Merck BioReliance® offered 5 Grand Challenge teacher placements in May 2019, focusing on Artificial Intelligence.

Merck BioReliance testing services is the leading provider of contract services in the biopharmaceutical industry, supporting every phase of the testing, development and manufacturing process. Clients include producers of traditional pharmaceuticals, medical devices, chemicals and other products, as well as biopharmaceuticals. Merck BioReliance are a leading GMP and GLP testing services provider for the development of therapeutics.

The company is continually expanding and pushing the boundaries of the use of Artificial Intelligence and Automation to progress the world of biosafety testing. On a daily basis it generates multiple large data sets to assess bacterial and viral contaminants. Merck BioReliance are introducing and brancing into Next Generation Sequencing platform to assess virus characterization, adventitious agent detection and genetic stability of host genomes. Such studies use automated robotics from sample extraction, plate set-up and cloud systems for data analysis.

Grand Challenge participants were given practical insights into how Merck BioReliance analyse and process data from medicines, patients and gene products. They had the opportunity to carry out practical activities including aseptic technique training, robotic systems and data analysis. Participants were also given a complete overview of a Contract Research Service Company and laboratory tours of Glasgow and Stirling facilities with opportunities to review and use robotic systems.