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CMSC INforMS: EMD Serono Announces Recipients of the Third Annual €1 Million Grant for MS Innovation

Thursday, October 8, 2015   (0 Comments)
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EMD Serono Announces Recipients of the Third Annual €1 Million Grant for Multiple Sclerosis Innovation

Four research grants awarded out of 146 applications, highlighting continuing commitment to multiple sclerosis

Rockland, Massachusetts, October 8, 2015 – EMD Serono, the U.S. biopharmaceutical business of Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, today announced the recipients of the third annual Grant for Multiple Sclerosis Innovation (GMSI) at the 31st Congress of the European Committee for Treatment and Research in Multiple Sclerosis (ECTRIMS) being held in Barcelona, Spain.

Four recipients, from The Netherlands, Finland, Italy, and the UK, will share the overall €1 million grant to support their research:

  • Dynamics of M1/M2 polarization of microglia in multiple sclerosis: a PET imaging study: Helga E de Vries, Professor in Neuro-immunology, MS Centre Amsterdam, Dept. Molecular Cell Biology and immunology, VU University Medical Center, The Netherlands.
  • Role of microglia in the pathogenesis of progressive multiple sclerosis: Laura Airas, Associate Professor, University of Turku, Finland.
  • Driving microglia metabolism toward remyelination and restoration of brain damage in multiple sclerosis: Claudia Verderio, Senior Researcher, National Research Council, Institute of Neuroscience, Italy.
  • Molecular markers of multiple sclerosis disease progression: Gabriele De Luca, Associate Professor of Clinical Neurology, Nuffield Department of Clinical Neurosciences, University of Oxford, UK.

The GMSI was launched in October 2012 with the aim of improving the understanding of MS for the ultimate benefit of those living with the disease. This year researchers from across the globe were invited to submit proposals describing promising translational research projects, resulting in 146 proposals.

At EMD Serono, our long-term commitment to MS patients is evident in our medical research and development programs. The Grant for Multiple Sclerosis Innovation is another manifestation of our commitment and the interest in advancing the science behind MS is clear from the number of proposals this year, says Steven Hildemann, Chief Medical Officer, and head of Global Medical Affairs and Global Drug Safety at the biopharmaceutical business of Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany. I am impressed by the breadth, depth, and quality of the proposals, and it is further confirmation that there continues to be a deep interest within the scientific community to gain further understanding of the disease.

The call for proposals, for the 2016 GMSI was made by EMD Serono at today’s Symposium. The awards symposium was chaired by David Bates, Emeritus Professor of Clinical Neurology at the University of Newcastle upon Tyne, UK, and a member of the GMSI Scientific Committee. More information about the GMSI can be found at the following website:

About multiple sclerosis
Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a chronic, inflammatory condition of the central nervous system and is the most common, non-traumatic, disabling neurological disease in young adults. It is estimated that approximately two million patients have MS worldwide. While symptoms can vary, the most common symptoms of MS include blurred vision, numbness or tingling in the limbs and problems with strength and coordination. The relapsing forms of MS are the most common.

About EMD Serono
EMD Serono, a subsidiary of Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, is a leading US biopharmaceutical company focused exclusively on specialty care. For more than 40 years, EMD Serono has integrated cuttingedge science, innovative products and devices, and industry-leading patient support and access programs. EMD Serono has deep expertise in neurology, fertility and endocrinology, as well as a robust pipeline of potential therapies in neurology, oncology, immunology and immuno-oncology. Today, EMD Serono has more than 1,100 employees around the country with commercial, clinical and research operations based in the company’s home state of Massachusetts.

For more information, please visit

About Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany
Merck KGaA of Darmstadt, Germany, is a leading company for innovative and top-quality high-tech products in healthcare, life science and performance materials. The company has six businesses – Biopharmaceuticals, Consumer Health, Allergopharma, Biosimilars, Life Science and Performance Materials – and generated sales of € 11.3 billion in 2014. Around 39,000 employees work in 66 countries to improve the quality of life for patients, to foster the success of customers and to help meet global challenges. Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, is the world’s oldest pharmaceutical and chemical company – since 1668, the company has stood for innovation, business success and responsible entrepreneurship. Holding an approximately 70% interest, the founding family remains the majority owner of the company to this day. Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany holds the global rights to the Merck name and brand. The only exceptions are Canada and the United States, where the company operates as EMD Serono, EMD Millipore and EMD Performance Materials.

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