EMD Serono Establishes Immuno-Oncology Research and Early Development Platform to Advance Innovation in Cancer Therapies *New innovation platform for developing therapies that stimulate a patient’s immune system to fight cancer *Goal is to develop immunotherapies that work in combination with other therapeutic modalities to maximize patient outcomes *Platform uniquely integrates research, early stage development and biomarker strategies to advance investigational immunotherapies Business Wire ROCKLAND, Mass. -- June 26, 2013 EMD Serono, Inc., a subsidiary of Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, announced today its commitment to the field of cancer immunotherapy by creating a fully dedicated immuno-oncology innovation platform integrating research, early development and biomarker strategies. In addition to the company’s existing oncology platform, this new immuno-oncology platform will focus on developing therapies that leverage the immune system’s natural ability to fight tumors, and work in combination with existing and future therapies. “We are pleased to announce our commitment to immuno-oncology, recognizing that the complexity of cancer requires diverse approaches that will enable alternative therapeutic interventions,” said Bernhard Kirschbaum, Head of Global Research and Early Development at Merck Serono, a division of Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany. “In order to spur research and early development in this specialized area, we have created an innovative environment where researchers and clinicians work side-by-side to advance potential new cancer immunotherapies.” The new immuno-oncology platform includes three innovation clusters, each of which is focused on discovery research and the advancement of molecules into the clinic through proof of confidence: *Therapeutic cancer vaccines: targeting tumor antigens to elicit a tumor-specific immune response *Cancer stem cells: targeting cancer stem cells to prevent or reduce tumor formation and inhibit metastases *Immunotolerance: eliminating or circumventing inhibitory mechanisms in the immune system that prevent cancer cells from being recognized and attacked by the body To ensure a broad immuno-oncology research and early development platform, EMD Serono has assembled an in-house team of preeminent researchers and clinicians who will focus resources and technologies to build a portfolio of investigational immunotherapies, while collaborating with premier academia, research and industry organizations to complement internal capabilities. The current immuno-oncology portfolio comprises therapeutic candidates in early clinical development and a robust pipeline of pre-clinical molecules. Leading therapeutic concepts in the clinic are: *A monoclonal antibody targeting PD-L1 (programmed cell death ligand) expressed by various tumors, currently in Phase I in solid tumors *NHS-IL12, a cancer immunotherapy targeting IL-12 to the necrotic regions of tumors, sponsored by the United States National Cancer Institute (NCI), currently in Phase I in solid tumors *NHS-IL2, targeting IL-2 to the necrotic regions of tumors, completed Phase I and currently preparing for Phase II in solid tumors “Our goal is to develop leading immunotherapies that work in combination with other therapeutic modalities, understanding that attacking multiple cancer targets simultaneously increases the possibility of therapeutic success,” said Helen Sabzevari, Head of Immuno-Oncology, Global Research and Early Development at Merck Serono, a division of Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany. “We are committed to delivering on the promise of immuno-oncology by combining creative thinking with strong research and clinical excellence, and, more importantly, by keeping patient needs at the heart of our efforts.” For more information about EMD Serono’s immuno-oncology (iONC) platform, please visit ionc.emdserono.com. Disclaimer Clinical candidates are currently under clinical investigation and have not been approved for use in the U.S., Europe, Canada, or elsewhere. These candidates have not been proven to be either safe or effective and any claims of safety and effectiveness can be made only after regulatory review of the data and approval of the labeled claims. 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 www.emdserono.com. About Merck KGaA Merck is a leading pharmaceutical, chemical and life science company with total revenues of € 11.2 billion in 2012, a history that began in 1668, and a future shaped by approx. 38,000 employees in 66 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. Contact: EMD Serono Erin-Marie Beals, 781-681-2850
EMD Serono Establishes Immuno-Oncology Research and Early Development Platform to Advance Innovation in Cancer Therapies
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