EMD Serono Launches One Million Euro Research Grant for Multiple Sclerosis Innovation

ROCKLAND, Mass., Oct. 11, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- EMD Serono, Inc., a subsidiary of Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, announced today during the European Committee for Treatment and Research in Multiple Sclerosis (ECTRIMS) congress in Lyon, France, that the company has initiated a new global research award to improve understanding of multiple sclerosis for the ultimate benefit of patients.

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The Grant for Multiple Sclerosis Innovation will award up to one million euros annually to fund innovative research into multiple sclerosis (MS) by academic researchers. Researchers can submit their project proposals via the program's website, www.grantformultiplesclerosisinnovation.org, and awardees will be announced at next year's ECTRIMS congress in Copenhagen.

"We are committed to driving innovative research to further contribute to our understanding of the disease and ultimately lead to new medical breakthroughs in multiple sclerosis," said Annalisa Jenkins, Head of Global Drug Development and Medical for Merck Serono, a division of Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany. "While tremendous progress has been made over the years, we must continue to search for answers to important scientific questions in the field."

Potential research topics which could be funded through the Grant for Multiple Sclerosis Innovation include MS pathogenesis, predictive markers for treatment response and potential new treatments.

This grant complements other existing programs like EMD Serono's collaboration with the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, the FastFoward* collaborative fund.

The funds from the Grant for Multiple Sclerosis Innovation will be awarded by EMD Serono for projects based in the United States and Canada, and by Merck Serono to those based in the rest of the world.

For more information about the program, and to submit a scientific research project proposal, please visit www.grantformultiplesclerosisinnovation.org.

*For more details related to FastForward, please visit: http://www.nationalmssociety.org/fast-forward/index.aspx

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 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 www.merckserono.com or www.merckgroup.com

SOURCE EMD Serono, Inc.