EMD Serono Makes First Awards as Part of the Company's 1 Million Euro Grant for Multiple Sclerosis Innovation

 EMD Serono Makes First Awards as Part of the Company's 1 Million Euro Grant
                      for Multiple Sclerosis Innovation

- Research grants reflect company's continuing commitment to multiple
sclerosis (MS) community

- Four grants awarded out of more than 100 proposals from around the world

PR Newswire

ROCKLAND, Mass. and COPENHAGEN, Denmark, Oct. 5, 2013

ROCKLAND, Mass. and COPENHAGEN, Denmark, Oct. 5, 2013 /PRNewswire/ --EMD
Serono, Inc., a subsidiary of Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, announced today
on the occasion of the 29^th European Committee for Treatment and Research in
Multiple Sclerosis (ECTRIMS), the recipients of the company's inaugural Grant
for Multiple Sclerosis Innovation (GMSI).

(Logo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20121220/SF32295LOGO-b)

(Logo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20121220/SF32295LOGO-a)

Four recipients, three from the United States and one from Germany, will share
the overall €1 million grant to support their research:

  oDr Daniel Harrison, Assistant Professor of Neurology at the Johns Hopkins
    University School of Medicine, received a grant for research seeking to
    translate novel magnetic resonance imaging and analysis techniques into
    tools that have clinical applications in MS. He is focused on the
    validation of tools that will provide more pathologically specific
    assessments in future clinical trials.
  oDr Thomas Thum, Professor and Director of the Institute of Molecular and
    Translational Therapeutic Strategies at Hannover Medical School (Germany),
    previously evaluated whether microRNAs are differentially regulated in the
    cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) of patients with MS. The awarded grant will
    allow him and a network of German centers to validate their initial
    findings of altered microRNA patterns in the CSF of up to 1000 patients
    with MS.
  oDr Kevin O'Connor, Assistant Professor of Neurology at Yale School of
    Medicine, studies immunology and neurology. His laboratory is specifically
    interested in defining the mechanisms by which immune cells called B
    cells, and the antibodies they produce, influence tissue damage in
    autoimmunity. The grant will be used to support work in determining the
    specificity of autoantibodies and understanding how particular types of B
    cells initiate and sustain autoimmunity.
  oDr Joshua Bacon, Chair of the Department of Psychology at Stern College
    for Women at Yeshiva University in New York City, research scientist in
    the Department of Neurology at NYU School of Medicine, and member of the
    clinical and research team at NYU Langone's Multiple Sclerosis
    Comprehensive Care Center, will use the grant to support his research
    developing tests to detect speed-of-processing impairments in sub-clinical
    and early MS and developing a comprehensive cognitive rehabilitation
    program for patients with MS who also have cognitive impairments.

The GMSI was launched in October 2012 at the 28^th ECTRIMS Congress with the
aim of improving the understanding of MS for the ultimate benefit of those
living with the disease. Researchers from across the globe were invited to
submit proposals describing promising translational research projects. More
than 100 proposals were received.

"At EMD Serono, we recognize the value of a broad R&D ecosystem, and seek to
lever insights and expertise from across the continuum of the healthcare
landscape," says Dr. Annalisa Jenkins, Executive Vice President and Global
Head of Research and Development at Merck Serono, the biopharmaceutical
division of Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany. "The Grant for MS Innovation is a
unique platform which will help us to accelerate exceptional science that
exhibits the potential to become an innovative medicine or a high-value
solution for patients. By investing in these research opportunities, we are
building a bridge to a future in which more therapeutic options will improve
the quality of life for those living with multiple sclerosis."

Grants will be awarded annually beginning this year. The second call for
proposals, for the 2014 GMSI was made by EMD Serono at today's Satellite
Symposium. The awards symposium was co-chaired by David Bates and Maria
Trojano. Dr Bates is Emeritus Professor of Clinical Neurology at the
University of Newcastle upon Tyne, UK, and a member of the GMSI Scientific
Committee. Professor Trojano is Professor of Neurology and Chief of the
Neurophysiopathology Unit at the University of Bari, Italy. She is Vice
President of the ECTRIMS Executive Committee and a scientific committee member
of many MS organizations, including the Italian National MS Society. More
information about the GMSI can be found at the following website:
www.grantformultiplesclerosisinnovation.org

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.

For more information, please visit www.merckserono.com or www.merckgroup.com

SOURCE EMD Serono, Inc.

Website: http://www.emdserono.com
Contact: Erin-Marie Beals, 781-681-2850
 
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