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10.09.2017 – 21:01

Merck KGaA

Merck 'Grant for Oncology Innovation' Awards Recognize Recipients for Pushing Boundaries in Oncology Research

Darmstadt, Germany (ots/PRNewswire)

Not intended for UK/U.S. based media

- EUR1 million grant funded by Merck supports research with the 
  potential to advance implementation of personalized treatment for 
  solid tumors 
- Three winners selected from 100 scientifically diverse applicants 

Merck, a leading science and technology company, today announced recipients of the fourth annual Grant for Oncology Innovation (GOI) awards. The three winners of this prestigious program were awarded EUR1 million in total to progress their research. The winners were announced at a formal award ceremony earlier today to coincide with the 2017 annual European Society for Medical Oncology (ESMO 2017) Congress in Madrid, Spain.

Recipients of the 2017 GOI award are:

- Renata Maria Grifantini, National Institute of Molecular Genetics, 
  Milan, Italy, for her proposal: "Novel targets of 
  tumor-infiltrating CD4+ regulatory T-cells for immunotherapy"
- Alena Gros Vidal, Vall d'Hebron Institute of Oncology, Vall 
  d'Hebron Hospital, Barcelona, Spain, for her proposal: 
  "Personalized non-invasive T-cell therapies targeting the mutanome"
- Anguraj Sadanandam and Naureen Starling, Institute of Cancer 
  Research, London and Royal Marsden Hospital, London, UK, for their 
  proposal: "Characterizing the evolution of metastatic  colorectal 
  cancer (mCRC) and its immune microenvironment for therapeutic 

Chosen from a total of 100 applicants worldwide, and judged by a fully independent scientific steering committee of internationally renowned oncology experts, the winning proposals were selected based on relevance to patient care, innovative approach, scientific impact, feasibility and relevance for the personalization of treatment.

"Merck is deeply committed to innovating cancer care. The Grant for Oncology Innovation program enables us to recognize and assist talented and inspiring researchers in advancing creativity and innovation in oncology research, where unmet medical need remains enormous, and patients desperately need advances in their hope for a cure," said Steven Hildemann, Chief Medical Officer and Head of Global Patient Safety, Merck Biopharma. "Each year we are continually impressed with the exceptional quality of scientific proposals and the caliber of applicants for this program. We congratulate this year's winners, and all applicants, for their dedication to continually push the boundaries of cancer research."

Research results from several past award recipients were also presented at the ceremony, where the achievements and benefits that the program has already generated were celebrated.

Merck is committed to rewarding innovation and new thinking that could further advance the field of medicine. Since 2014, the company has awarded a total of EUR4 million to further research in oncology through the Grant for Oncology Innovation award. More information about the program can be found online at:

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About Merck

Merck is a leading science and technology company in healthcare, life science and performance materials. Around 50,000 employees work to further develop technologies that improve and enhance life - from biopharmaceutical therapies to treat cancer or multiple sclerosis, cutting-edge systems for scientific research and production, to liquid crystals for smartphones and LCD televisions. In 2016, Merck generated sales of EUR 15.0 billion in 66 countries.

Founded in 1668, Merck is the world's oldest pharmaceutical and 
chemical company. The founding family remains the majority owner of 
the publicly listed corporate group. Merck holds the global rights to
the Merck name and brand. The only exceptions are the United States 
and Canada, where the company operates as EMD Serono, MilliporeSigma 
and EMD Performance Materials.

Martina Brunner +49-6151-72-43959 

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