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Technology scouting to drive therapeutic innovation

How Merz Therapeutics is expanding its product portfolio using a tech scouting platform powered by ITONICS.

active users
scouted products & companies
patents, publications & 
clinical trials
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"The ITONICS Innovation Platform supports us in scouting new technologies and products for our pipeline. The huge amounts of data generated in this process are easily searchable for the colleagues involved and can be supplemented and evaluated together."
Dr. Maarten Ruitenberg, Head of Technology Scouting & Operations, Merz Therapeutics
Dr. Maarten Ruitenberg Merz
Merz Product Rating

Accelerate portfolio expansion through competitive intelligence

From the very beginning, innovation has been a core element of Merz's corporate culture and strategic direction.

In 2020, Merz created three independent businesses: Merz Aesthetics, Merz Therapeutics and Merz Consumer Care. The new structure will allow for more specialized customer focus and will increase operational agility and speed to market. The creation of three separate businesses is expected to continue fueling the strong growth.

Merz Technology Radar

Tech scouting at Merz Therapeutics

The Technology Scouting and External Innovation Teams at Merz Therapeutics are responsible for establishing and evaluating the competitive landscape of the current product portfolio. Which new products and companies have entered the market? Which emerging technologies could be used to further grow the portfolio?

Since 2018, technology scouting has been supported by ITONICS‘ tools to more transparently gather and evaluate insights on activities in the business environment. This allows for informed decision-making to expand the company‘s portfolio.

  • Technology scouting is an essential part of establishing and expanding the competitive landscape of Merz Therapeutics.
  • Based on the Scouting and Screening Team‘s suggestions for business opportunities, the Business Development (BD) Board can take strategic decisions on the company‘s portfolio expansion.
  • Departments (R&D, Tech Scouting, Marketing, Corporate Development) worked in silos and collected information separately.
  • There was no single point of truth for competitive intelligence.
  • Rigid tools (e.g. Excel lists) led to heavy workload and data loss.

Objectives of a technology scouting platform


A single point of truth for competitive intelligence

The ITONICS Innovation OS allows Merz to easily share information about external innovation opportunities across departments and countries. By being able to use a single system for data search, storage and sharing, teams are empowered to quickly review and assess opportunities.

Merz Therapeutics Competitive Intelligence Process

1. Data collection

To determine the competitive landscape of the current portfolio, predefined search fields are used to collect knowledge from various sources:

  • Companies and their products as well as clinical trials, patents, publications
  • Internet searches, press releases, conferences, market reports
  • Employee contributions on specific topics, e.g. indications like parkinson‘s disease or technologies like neurostimulation/-modulation devices
  • External experts who input data on emerging products and technologies

2. Selection

The collected insights are enriched by the AI-enabled signals feed, which automatically adds relevant market signals to the scouted products and companies. Other departments can additionally access, edit, and supplement the data. The most relevant products and companies are assigned to a specific technology field or indication and selected for further evaluation.

3. Assessment

The hits are evaluated by the Scouting Team and experts from other departments. Evaluation criteria include, for example, the efficiency or the safety of a treatment. The evaluated results can be visualized in different Radars and provide the Screening Team and Business Development Board with evidence to make better strategic decisions on portfolio expansions.


  • Technology scouting platform: A single point of truth was created to break down silos, bundlecompetitive knowledge, and drive faster decision-making across Merz Therapeutics.
  • Innovation opportunities: The Technology Scouting and Innovation Teams can now provide board functions with the most interesting business opportunities.
  • Portfolio management: Portfolio expansions are proactively triggered by the accumulated and evaluated knowledge on the platform.
  • Collaboration: Controlled access allows different interest groups (other departments as well as external service providers) to work collaboratively on mapping thecompetitive landscape.
  • Transparency: Decision-making on acquiring new products or partnering with other market players remains traceableby preserving the history on the platform.
  • Competitive intelligence: Competitive information and activities are easier to find, simpler to filter, and presented in a visually appealing way in the Radars.
  • Improved time-to-insight: Emerging technologies, companies, and competing products that offer value can be discovered at a faster pace.
  • Staying ahead: The Signals Feed enriches products, technologies, and companies in the platform automatically with additional relevant information.

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About Merz Therapeutics

Merz Therapeutics is part of the Merz Group, a family-owned company founded in 1908 by the pharmacist and chemist Friedrich Merz in Frankfurt, Germany. Merz Therapeutics set itself the goal to improve patients’ health - bringing better outcomes to more patients.

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