EMD Serono Awards Grant for Growth Innovation (GGI) for the First Time

  • The first grants awarded to coincide with the 53rd European Society for Paediatric Endocrinology (ESPE) Meeting
  • Investment supports innovative projects for the advancement of science and medical research in the field of growth

ROCKLAND, MA, Sept. 19, 2014 /CNW/ - EMD Serono, a subsidiary of Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, today announced the first recipients of the Grant for Growth Innovation (GGI) for 2014. The awards were announced during a Satellite Symposium organized by EMD Serono at the 53rd European Society for Paediatric Endocrinology (ESPE) Meeting currently taking place in Dublin, Ireland.

Sixty applications were received from 19 countries and reviewed by an independent Scientific Steering Committee composed of internationally renowned endocrinologists and chaired by Professor Christian Strasburger, Head of Clinical Endocrinology at the Charité Universitätsmedizin Berlin. Following a rigorous selection process three awards have been granted to support innovative projects in Sweden, the United Kingdom and the United States.

Leo Dunkel, MD, PhD 

Queen Mary University of London, London, UK

Title: Defining the role of fibroblast growth factor 21 (FGF21) in the pathogenesis of growth hormone resistance and subsequent growth failure in chronic childhood conditions.

Julian Lui Ph.D.  

Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD), Bethesda, MD, USA

Title: Cartilage-Targeted Therapeutics for Growth Disorders

Lars Sävendahl, MD, PhD 

Karolinska Institute and University Hospital, Solna, Sweden

Title: Early prediction of long-term growth response to GH treatment; Evaluation of a newly developed technique based on magnetic resonance imaging of the tibia growth plate

"The Grant for Growth Innovation reflects EMD Serono's commitment to innovation which we believe is the foundation of our efforts to advance new possibilities in the treatment of disorders of human growth," said Steven Hildemann, Global Chief Medical Officer and Head of Global Medical Affairs and Global Drug Safety at the biopharmaceutical division of Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany. He added: "Identifying and supporting forward thinking researchers in the field of growth, helps us achieve our collective goal to advance our understanding of this therapeutic area and deliver better outcomes for patients living with growth disorders."

Notes to editors

Photos of the awards ceremony are available http://www.grantforgrowthinnovation.org

About the Grant for Growth Innovation (GGI) 

EMD Serono announced the initiation of the GGI program in 2013 to support the advancement of understanding of the field of growth. A total grant of up to €400,000 will be awarded to one or more selected projects. Each application was blinded and evaluated by a Scientific Steering Committee composed of internationally renowned endocrinologists, according to five criteria: innovation; scientific rationale; clarity; feasibility; and impact of research.

For further information about the GGI and how to apply for next year's grants, please visit http://www.grantforgrowthinnovation.org

About EMD Serono, Inc.  

EMD Serono, Inc., a subsidiary of Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, is a specialized biopharmaceutical company dedicated to developing therapies with groundbreaking potential. The company has strong market positions in neurology, endocrinology and in reproductive health. In addition, EMD Serono has an enduring commitment to solve the unsolvable, with state-of-the-art science dedicated to developing new therapies in our core focus areas of neurology, oncology, immuno-oncology and immunology. With a long-standing history of industry expertise and a dedication to shape the future of healthcare, the company's US footprint continues to grow, with approximately 1,000 employees around the country and fully integrated commercial, clinical and research operations in the company's home state of Massachusetts.

For more information, please visit http://www.emdserono.com.

About Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany  

Merck KGaA of Darmstadt, Germany, is a leading company for innovative and top-quality high-tech products in the pharmaceutical and chemical sectors. Its subsidiaries in Canada and the United States operate under the umbrella brand EMD. Around 39,000 employees work in 66 countries to improve the quality of life for patients, to further the success of customers and to help meet global challenges. The company generated total revenues of €11.1 billion in 2013 with its four divisions: Biopharmaceuticals, Consumer Health, Performance Materials and Life Science Tools. Merck KGaA of Darmstadt, Germany is the world's oldest pharmaceutical and chemical company - since 1668, the name has stood for innovation, business success and responsible entrepreneurship. Holding an approximately 70 percent interest, the founding family remains the majority owner of the company to this day.


For further information: Cory Tromblee, +1-781-681-2393


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