GENEVA, July 5, 2011 /PRNewswire/ --
- Grant Designed to Stimulate Innovation in the Field of Fertility - Up to 1 Million Euros Allocated to Five Research Projects
Merck Serono, a division of Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, today announces the recipients of its second Grant for Fertility Innovation. The company has awarded up to 1 million Euros to five innovative research projects with the same common goal: to improve the chances for couples to conceive a baby. The Grant for Fertility Innovation program was developed by Merck Serono to support the advancement of medical science in the field of fertility.
"We are delighted to build on the success of the Grant for Fertility Innovation which was launched last year. This initiative represents an unprecedented commitment from Merck Serono to encourage innovative thinking among the scientific community in the fertility area", said Dr Bharat Tewarie, Senior Vice President Global Business Unit Fertility and Metabolic Endocrinology at Merck Serono. "Today, we are proud to award grants to five breakthrough projects which have demonstrated a potential to develop into novel applications for clinicians to improve patients outcomes. We will continue to stimulate innovation also externally in the fertility field by offering a new grant next year."
This year, 55 applications were received from 14 countries around the world. Projects were selected by a scientific committee composed of fertility experts. Each entry was blinded and evaluated according to five criteria: support to increase the chances to conceive a baby, innovation, scientific rationale, feasibility and practical utility.
The awardees were announced at a ceremony held at the 27th annual meeting of the European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology (ESHRE), in the presence of Dr Alan Trounson, President of the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine, San Francisco and Dr Dagan Wells, BRC Scientific Leadership Fellow in Reproductive Genetics at the Nuffield Department of Obstetrics & Gynaecology, University of Oxford. Dr Dagan Wells was an award grantee of GFI in 2010.
This year's grants were awarded to:
- Prof Henrique Almeida,Faculdade de Medicina do Porto, FMUP (Porto, Portugal) and Prof João Luis Silva-Carvalho, Faculdade de Medicina do Porto, FMUP Centro de Estudo e Tratamento de Infertilidade, CETI, Porto, Portugal. Project: Utilization of biomarkers in human cumulus oophorus cells to improve oocyte selection and ART outcomes. - Prof Nick Macklon, Professor of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Division of Developmental Origins of Adult Diseases (DOHaD), University of Southampton, Southampton, United Kingdom and Prof Bart CJM Fauser, Chair, Division Woman & Baby University Medical Center, Utrecht, The Netherlands. Project: Endometrial gene expression profile associated with recurrent implantation failure. - Dr Paola ScaruffiCenter of Physiopathology of Human Reproduction, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, San Martino Hospital, Genova, Italy. Project: Cell DNA-Free test as a non invasive biomarker for assessing embryo viability. - Dr Roberto Matorras, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Hospital from Cruces,PaísVascoUniversity, Baracaldo, Vizcaya, Spain Project: Endometrial fluid proteomics to assess uterine receptivity - Dr Séverine Le GacAssistant Professor, University of Twente, The Netherlands and Prof C.B. (Nils) Lambalk, Professor,Division of Reproductive Medicine, Department of Obstetrics/Gynaecology VU University Medical Center, Amsterdam, The Nertherlands. Project: C-microART - Culture in Microfluidics for Assisted Reproduction Techniques
Funding of each project is dependent on fulfillment of predetermined, specific milestones. Further details on the five research programs and information relating to the 2012 entry submissions are available on the Grant for Fertility Innovation website: http://www.grantforfertilityinnovation.com .
Notes to editors:
Photos of the award ceremony can be downloaded from the Grant for Fertility Innovation website: http://www.grantforfertilityinnovation.com from Tuesday, July 5, 2011.
About Merck Serono and Fertility Treatment
Merck Serono is the world leader in fertility treatments, and the only company to offer a full portfolio of fertility drugs for every stage of the reproductive cycle and recombinant versions of the three hormones needed to treat infertility: GONAL-f(R) (follitropin alfa), to stimulate the ovaries and produce eggs in women and spermatogenesis induction in men; Luveris(R) (lutropin alfa), to stimulate follicular development in women who are profoundly LH deficient; Ovitrelle(R) (choriogonadotropin alfa), to help follicles mature and release eggs; Pergoveris[(R)](follitropin alfa/lutropin alfa) to stimulate follicular development in women with severe LH and FSH deficiency; Cetrotide(R) (cetrorelix acetate) to prevent a premature ovulation; and Crinone(R) (progesterone gel), to help establish and maintain a pregnancy. Not all products are available in all markets.
About Merck Serono
Merck Serono is the biopharmaceutical division of Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, a global pharmaceutical and chemical company. Headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland, Merck Serono discovers, develops, manufactures and markets prescription medicines of both chemical and biological origin in specialist indications. In the United States and Canada, EMD Serono operates as a separately incorporated affiliate of Merck Serono.
Merck Serono has leading brands serving patients with cancer (Erbitux(R), cetuximab), multiple sclerosis (Rebif(R), interferon beta-1a), infertility (Gonal-f(R), follitropin alfa), endocrine and metabolic disorders (Saizen(R) and Serostim(R), somatropin), (Kuvan(R), sapropterin dihydrochloride), (Egrifta(TM), tesamorelin), as well as cardiometabolic diseases (Glucophage(R), metformin), (Concor(R), bisoprolol), (Euthyrox(R), levothyroxine). Not all products are available in all markets.
With an annual R&D expenditure of over EUR 1bn, Merck Serono is committed to growing its business in specialist-focused therapeutic areas including neurodegenerative diseases, oncology, fertility and endocrinology, as well as new areas potentially arising out of research and development in rheumatology.
Merck is a global pharmaceutical and chemical company with total revenues of EUR 9.3 billion in 2010, a history that began in 1668, and a future shaped by more than 40,000 employees in 67 countries. Its success is characterized by innovations from entrepreneurial employees. Merck's operating activities come under the umbrella of Merck KGaA, in which the Merck family holds an approximately 70% interest and free shareholders own the remaining approximately 30%. In 1917 the U.S. subsidiary Merck & Co. was expropriated and has been an independent company ever since.
Clients in focus...