EMD Serono Announces Award of $1.3 Million to the Winners of the first Grant for Oncology Innovation

- Global winners selected for their unique research projects that have the potential to advance research for the personalized treatment of solid tumors

- Winners chosen by a Scientific Steering Committee comprising internationally renowned oncologists and researchers

Sep 27, 2014, 08:00 ET from EMD Serono

ROCKLAND, Mass., Sept. 27, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- EMD Serono, the biopharmaceutical division of Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, today announced the winners of the first Grant for Oncology Innovation (GOI), who will receive grants totaling $1.3 million. The 2014 winners were formally announced at an awards ceremony coinciding with the annual meeting of the European Society for Medical Oncology (ESMO) 2014 in Madrid, Spain.

Launched in September 2013 at the European Cancer Congress (ECCO-ESMO-ESTRO) in Amsterdam, the GOI aims to support researchers who are leading innovative projects that have the potential to advance research for the personalized treatment of solid tumors.

Areas of interest for the GOI are:

  • Access to personalized treatment/care for patients
  • Innovative research with clinical relevance and benefits for patients
  • Solid tumor malignancies

The international Scientific Steering Committee of leading oncologists and researchers selected the following winners:

Dr Clara Montagut, Hospital del Mar, Barcelona, Spain; for proposed research on Ultra-selection and molecular monitoring of CRC patients treated with anti-EGFR therapy using NGS platforms and serial liquid biopsies

Dr Stefan Sleijfer, Erasmus MC Cancer Institute, Rotterdam, Netherlands; for proposed research on Non-invasive monitoring of breast cancer therapy using cell-free tumor DNA in blood

Dr Ulrich Guller, Cantonal Hospital, St. Gallen, Switzerland; for the proposed project entitled: Prospective, double-blinded, placebo-controlled, phase III randomized trial of adjuvant aspirin treatment in PIK3CA mutated colon cancer patients

"I would like to congratulate the winners and their teams for the quality of their proposed research projects. In the last decade alone, innovative research in oncology has made a number of ground-breaking discoveries leading to a better understanding of individual tumor biology that has allowed for a personalized approach to patient care," said Belen Garijo, President and CEO of the biopharmaceutical division of Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany. "We hope that this first Grant for Oncology Innovation will help enable further pioneering research into the personalized treatment of cancer that may ultimately lead to improved clinical outcomes for patients."

The Grant for Oncology Innovation builds on the success of the Grant for Fertility Innovation (GFI), the Grant for Multiple Sclerosis Innovation (GMSI) and the Grant for Growth Innovation (GGI), which between them have awarded grants totaling over $12 million to research projects since 2010.

For more information on GOI and details of how to apply of the 2015 award, please visit:

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 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 38,000 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.

Cory Tromblee
Phone 781-681-2393