EMD Serono awards US$1.3m to winners of the first Grant for Oncology Innovation

Global winners selected for projects with the potential to advance research for the personalised treatment of solid tumours

EMD Serono, the biopharmaceutical division of Merck KGaA of Darmstadt, Germany, based in Rockland, MA, has named the winners of the first Grant for Oncology Innovation (GOI), who will receive US$1.3m. The 2014 winners were announced at an awards ceremony coinciding with the annual meeting of the European Society for Medical Oncology (ESMO) 2014 in Madrid, Spain.

Launched in September 2013 at the European Cancer Congress (ECCO-ESMO-ESTRO) in Amsterdam, the GOI aims to support researchers who are leading innovative projects that have the potential to advance research for the personalised treatment of solid tumours.

The winners are:

  • Clara Montagut, Hospital del Mar, Barcelona, Spain, for research on ‘Ultra-selection and molecular monitoring of CRC patients treated with anti-EGFR therapy using NGS platforms and serial liquid biopsies’;
  • Stefan Sleijfer, Erasmus MC Cancer Institute, Rotterdam, Netherlands, for a study on ‘Non-invasive monitoring of breast cancer therapy using cell-free tumour DNA in blood’; and
  • Ulrich Guller, Cantonal Hospital, St Gallen, Switzerland, for a project entitled: ‘Prospective, double-blinded, placebo-controlled, phase III randomised trial of adjuvant aspirin treatment in PIK3CA mutated colon cancer patients’.

The international Scientific Steering Committee of leading oncologists and researchers selected the winners.

‘I would like to congratulate the winners and their teams for the quality of their proposed research projects,’ said Belen Garijo, President and CEO of the biopharmaceutical division of Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany.

‘In the last decade alone, innovative research in oncology has made a number of ground-breaking discoveries leading to a better understanding of individual tumour biology that has allowed for a personalised approach to patient care.

‘We hope that this first Grant for Oncology Innovation will help enable further pioneering research into the personalised treatment of cancer that may ultimately lead to improved clinical outcomes for patients.’

The Grant for Oncology Innovation builds on the success of the Grant for Fertility Innovation (GFI), the Grant for Multiple Sclerosis Innovation (GMSI) and the Grant for Growth Innovation (GGI), which between them have awarded grants totalling over $12m to research projects since 2010.

For details of how to apply of the 2015 award, click here.