Merck Announces Recipients of the Grant for Growth Innovation 2016

DARMSTADT, Germany, September 12, 2016 /PRNewswire/ --

- The presentation of the grants coincides with the 55th European Society for
Paediatric Endocrinology (ESPE) Meeting 
- The awards support innovative projects for the advancement of science and medical
research in the field of growth 

Merck, a leading science and technology company, today announced the recipients of the Grant for Growth Innovation (GGI) for 2016. The awards were announced yesterday evening at an award presentation meeting organized by Merck during the 55th European Society for Pediatric Endocrinology (ESPE) Meeting in Paris, France.

Merck is providing grants to pioneers of new research in growth through the Grant for Growth Innovation award. Identifying and supporting forward thinking researchers in the field of growth follows Merck's scientific strategy of providing a platform that makes innovation possible.

"It is inspiring to see the high quality and aspiration of the researchers to whom these grants have been awarded. We recognise that despite advances in treatment and management of growth disorders, we still require a better understanding of these diseases to address the high unmet medical need. We look forward to seeing the results of these projects," said Dr Steven Hildemann, Global Chief Medical Officer and Head of Global Medical and Safety at Merck's Biopharma business.

38 applications were received from 20 countries and reviewed by an independent Scientific Steering Committee composed of five internationally renowned endocrinologists and researchers. Following a rigorous selection process, three awards were offered to innovative projects which seek to advance understanding in the field of growth. The winning projects are based in Australia, Italy and Brazil, and are as follows:

Andrew J. Brooks 

University of Queensland Diamantina Institute, Brisbane, Australia 

Project: Targeting the transmembrane domain of the growth hormone receptor to develop new drug classes addressing unmet needs in treatment of growth hormone disorders

Antonio Cittadini, MD, PhD 

Federico II University, Naples, Italy 

Project: Treatment of growth hormone deficiency associated with chronic heart failure: A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study

Alexander Augusto de Lima Jorge, MD, PhD 

University of São Paulo Medical School, Brazil 

Project: Growth hormone and estrogen pharmacogenetics in patients with Turner syndrome

About the Grant for Growth Innovation (GGI) 

Merck initiated the GGI program to support the advancement of understanding of the field of growth. A total grant of up to EUR400,000 per year, divided between up to three research proposals, will be awarded to the selected projects. Each application is blinded and evaluated by an independent Scientific Steering Committee composed of internationally renowned endocrinologists and researchers, 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

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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 2015, Merck generated sales of EUR 12.85 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, Darmstadt, Germany 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.

Contact: Bettina Frank: +49-6151-72-4660

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