Darmstadt, Germany, September 18, 2017 – Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, a leading science and technology company, today announced the recipients of the Grant for Growth Innovation (GGI) for 2017. The winners were announced at an awards presentation meeting organized by Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany during the 10th International Meeting of Pediatric Endocrinology, in Washington, United States.

“It is inspiring to see the scientific quality and rigor of these projects and the aspiration of the researchers to whom these grants have been awarded. We recognize that despite advances in treatment and management of growth disorders, we still require a better understanding of the underlying mechanisms of these diseases to address the unmet medical need of affected patients. We look forward to seeing meaningful outcomes of these projects making a difference in patient´s lives” said Dr Steven Hildemann, Global Chief Medical Officer and Head of Global Patient Safety for the Biopharma business of Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany.

Sixty-five applications were received from 28 countries, and reviewed by an independent Scientific Steering Committee composed of six internationally renowned endocrinologists and researchers. Following a rigorous selection process, two awards were offered to innovative projects, which seek to advance understanding the field of growth and growth disorders. The winning projects originated from research groups based in France and Denmark, and are as follows:

Professor Irène Netchine,
Hôpital Trousseau, Sorbonne Universités-Université Pierre et Marie Curie, Paris, France
Project: Delta-­like homologue 1(DLK1) implication in fetal and postnatal growth

Professor Jens Otto Lunde Jørgensen,
Aarhus University Hospital, Aarhus, Denmark
Project: Lipolytic effects of growth hormone (GH): cracking the code

Through the Grant for Growth Innovation, Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany is providing support to pioneers of advanced research in the field of growth and growth disorders, and is thus continually striving to drive innovation, and improve the understanding, and advancement of science and medical research in this field.

About the Grant for Growth Innovation (GGI)
Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany initiated the GGI program to support the advancement of understanding growth mechanisms and growth disorders. A total amount of up to €400,000 per year is invested into this program. This total amount is divided among up to three research projects. Each application is evaluated by an independent Scientific Steering Committee composed of internationally renowned endocrinologists and researchers and in accordance with five selection criteria: innovation; scientific rationale; clarity; feasibility; and impact of research.

For further information about the GGI and how to apply for the 2018 grant, please visit www.grantforgrowthinnovation.org