Darmstadt, Germany, September 12, 2016 – Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, 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 KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany during the 55th European Society for Pediatric Endocrinology (ESPE) Meeting in Paris, France.

Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany 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 our 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 for the Biopharma business of Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany.

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 KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany initiated the GGI program to support the advancement of understanding of the field of growth. A total grant of up to €400,000 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 www.grantforgrowthinnovation.org