Merck, ProtonMedia win innovation award

Press Release: Merck and ProtonMedia Win Microsoft Life Sciences Innovation Award 2010

Microsoft Recognizes Merck’s Industry-First Scientific Poster Session Held in ProtonMedia’s ProtoSphere 3-D Virtual Environment

LANSDALE, Pa.–Microsoft Corp. has named Merck and Company, Inc. and ProtonMedia winners of the company’s Life Sciences Innovation Awards 2010. The awards, announced at the Drug Information Association’s (DIA) 46th annual meeting in Washington, D.C., were given in recognition of innovative solutions in the pharmaceutical and life sciences industry. The awards honor companies that have demonstrated the successful application of available software and devices to revolutionize medicine, bring therapeutic breakthroughs to market faster, fight serious ailments, improve health, and enhance people’s quality of life. Microsoft recognized Merck’s innovative use of ProtonMedia’s ProtoSphere 3-D virtual environment to hold the pharmaceutical industry’s first virtual scientific poster session.

“Between pressure to bring new drugs and therapies to market faster and the persistent and pressing need to cut costs, life sciences companies today are facing tremendous challenges,” said Michael Naimoli, U.S. Life Sciences Industry Solutions Director, Microsoft Corp. “This year’s awards recognize companies that have developed innovative technology solutions based on the Microsoft software platform to achieve significant benefits, whether speeding discovery, time to market, or enhancing collaboration.”

Merck partnered with ProtonMedia to develop a 3-D virtual poster session environment in ProtoSphere for employee collaboration, learning and training. Results measured after the poster session event demonstrated that virtual environments for scientific meetings are well accepted by the current generation of scientists, suggesting that these environments can be used to deliver immediate value.

ProtoSphere is the first and only virtual collaboration environment to integrate with Microsoft SharePoint services and content. By adding ProtonMedia’s SharePoint Media Carousel to their ProtoSphere environment, companies extend their SharePoint investment and processes while they improve product lifecycle management (PLM) and speed collaborative decision-making in ProtoSphere. ProtonMedia is a Microsoft Life Sciences partner.

“Microsoft is the world’s software leader, and together with its partners, its Life Sciences division forms the foundation of organizations’ technology infrastructures,” says Ron Burns, CEO of ProtonMedia. “Merck’s virtual poster session measurably demonstrates how life sciences companies can combine Microsoft’s technology with an enterprise virtual collaboration environment like ProtoSphere to extend their Microsoft platform and accelerate decision making around all phases of their product lifecycle. We thank Microsoft for recognizing our joint development innovation with Merck.”

Merck’s use of ProtoSphere also earned recognition from the editors of Bio-IT World, who gave Merck its Best Practice Award in the Editors’ Choice Award category in April. The project was also detailed in a recent Nature Chemistry article.

Microsoft Life Sciences Innovation Award participants consisted of worldwide life sciences corporations in drug discovery, scientific research and basic science, medical devices, clinical trials, document and records management, knowledge management, manufacturing and bioprocessing, mobile workers, supply chain, sales and marketing, digital marketing and social networking, personalized medicine, infostructure and desktop and application virtualization. Winners were selected by an esteemed panel of industry experts and will be highlighted on the Microsoft website at

Virtual meeting about a life sciences R&D topic in ProtoSphere. (Image courtesy ProtonMedia.)


ProtonMedia is the developer of ProtoSphere, the market-leading virtual collaboration environment for the high-performance workplace, and the #1 virtual environment for collaborative PLM in life sciences. ProtoSphere’s virtual environment provides an arsenal of business-focused collaboration and communication tools that help companies accelerate decision-making and raise productivity, improving workplace performance overall. The company is a Gartner “Cool Vendor in the High-Performance Workplace” for 2010. Its customers include some of the world’s most respected brands, including AstraZeneca, Johnson & Johnson, Merck Inc., Chevron, Duke University, Deloitte, TIAA-CREF, Lockheed Martin, and Boeing. A trial version of ProtoSphere can be downloaded at For more information, visit

Maria Korolov