Darmstadt, Germany, and Rehovot, Israel, February 16, 2016 – Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, a leading science and technology company, today announced that the Weizmann Institute, Rehovot, Israel, conferred the renowned Weizmann Award in the Sciences and Humanities on Karl-Ludwig Kley, CEO and Chairman of the Executive Board of Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany.

“It is particularly important to us to acknowledge and honor your support and friendship with Israel and with the Weizmann Institute of Science,” Daniel Zajfman, President of the Weizmann Institute, said when conferring the Weizmann Award in the Sciences and Humanities to Kley Monday evening. “Throughout your career, you have expressed support and encouragement for Israel science and scientists; have been an exceptional friend to the Weizmann Institute; and have spearheaded and advanced the technology transfer relationship between the Institute and your company with the goal of improving the lives of many people through better medical therapies.”

“Over the past 10 years, my affection, empathy and friendship have grown with Israel and with the Weizmann Institute. I know that I am not only receiving an award from partners, but from friends,” Kley said in his speech after the award. “This award will also contribute to further deepening the institutional relationship between the Weizmann Institute and our company. During the past years we have created a very special bond between us and the Weizmann Institute. It will live on.”

Since 1966, the Weizmann Award in the Sciences and Humanities has been granted to a small, distinguished group of world leaders and scientists whom the Weizmann Institute has wished to honour, and to philanthropists and leaders, whom the Institute has wished to thank. Awardees include Margaret Thatcher, former Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, and Jacques Chirac, former President of France. A list of awardees to date is accessible here.

Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, and Weizmann first joined forces in 1978. Since then, the collaboration has yielded innovations including intellectual roots of the company’s top-selling multiple sclerosis drug Rebif, as well as of the company’s cancer treatment Erbitux.