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27.09.2014 – 09:02

Merck Healthcare

Merck Serono Awards EUR1 Million to the Winners of the First Grant for Oncology Innovation

Darmstadt, Germany (ots/PRNewswire)

- 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

Merck Serono, the biopharmaceutical division of Merck, today announced the winners of the first Grant for Oncology Innovation (GOI), who will receive grants totaling EUR1 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.

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Launched in September 2013 at the European Cancer Congress (ECCO-ESMO-ESTRO) 2013 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 Güller, 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, Merck Serono. "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 Merck Serono 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 EUR10 million to research projects since 2010.

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

About Merck Serono

Merck Serono is the biopharmaceutical division of Merck. With headquarters in Darmstadt, Germany, Merck Serono offers leading brands in 150 countries to help patients with cancer, multiple sclerosis, infertility, endocrine and metabolic disorders as well as cardiovascular diseases. In the United States and Canada, EMD Serono operates as a separately incorporated subsidiary of Merck Serono.

Merck Serono discovers, develops, manufactures and markets prescription medicines of both chemical and biological origin in specialist indications. We have an enduring commitment to deliver novel therapies in our core focus areas of neurology, oncology, immuno-oncology and immunology.

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Cornelia Bartels, Phone +49-6151-72-3890

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