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EMD Serono Expands the Grant for Fertility Innovation (GFI) Program to Include U.S. Investigators

ROCKLAND, Mass., Sept. 18, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- EMD Serono, Inc., a subsidiary of Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, announced today that the company has expanded its global program named Grant for Fertility Innovation (GFI) so that it is available to U.S. investigators. 



Announced for the first time in 2009, GFI is dedicated to transforming innovative translational fertility research projects at academic centers into concrete health solutions to improve the outcomes of assisted reproductive technologies (ART).  In the last three years, around 400 applications to GFI were received from over 40 countries around the world.   As announced at this year's annual meeting of the European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology (ESHRE) the GFI program has been expanded to €4 million for 2012/2013.

"The purpose of the GFI is to identify new medical approaches in fertility, a key therapeutic area for Research and Development at EMD Serono," said Dr. Thorsten Eickenhorst, Senior Vice President and Chief Medical Officer at EMD Serono. "By leveraging strong collaboration across industry and academia, we can fuel creativity in science and accelerate innovation in medicine that may one day make a difference in the lives of patients."

In 2012, nine winning projects were announced during ESHRE:

  • Edson Borges Jr. (Brazil): Non-invasive prediction of embryo implantation potential and culture media
  • Angelika Daser (Germany): Direct counting of chromatids in polar bodies
  • Ellen Greenblatt (Canada): Validation of endometrial receptivity biomarkers predictive of success
  • Marcos Horton (Argentina): Fourier -Transform Infrared spectroscopy for metabolomics in IVF
  • Giovanni Ruvolo (Italy): A new strategy in selecting oocytes with high implantation potentiality
  • Lois A. Salamonsen (Australia): Uterine receptivity: the final hurdle in IVF
  • Rossana Sapiro (Uruguay): Increase sperm quality by improvement of mitochondrial activity
  • Francois Vialard (France): PIF-Biomarker of successful pregnancy
  • Dagan Wells (UK): Non-invasive detection of chromosome abnormality in human oocytes

About the Grant for Fertility Innovation (GFI)

Merck Serono announced the initiation of the GFI program in 2009 to support the advancement of science and innovative technologies in the fertility field. This grant is awarded every year to translational research projects that can potentially improve baby birth rate for the benefit of the patients. Each project is blinded and evaluated by a jury of experts according to five criteria: support to increase baby birth rate; innovative research; scientific rationale; feasibility and practical utility.

For further information about the GFI and how to apply for next year's grants, please visit:

About EMD Serono, Inc.
EMD Serono, Inc., a subsidiary of Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, is a leader in the US biopharmaceutical arena, integrating cutting-edge science with unparalleled patient support systems to improve people's lives. The company has strong market positions in neurodegenerative diseases, endocrinology and in reproductive health. In addition, EMD Serono is growing its expertise and presence in the area of oncology, with more than 15 projects currently in development. With a clear focus on the patient and a leadership presence in the biopharmaceutical industry, EMD Serono's US footprint continues to grow, with approximately 1,000 employees around the country and fully integrated commercial, clinical and research operations in the company's home state of Massachusetts.

For more information, please visit

About Merck KGaA
Merck is a global pharmaceutical and chemical company with total revenues of € 10.3 billion in 2011, 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 shareholders own the remaining approximately 30%. In 1917 the U.S. subsidiary Merck & Co. was expropriated and has been an independent company ever since.

For more information, please visit or

SOURCE EMD Serono, Inc.
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