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Merck Reports Sales and Earnings Growth in Q2 2015

  • All three business sectors contribute to reported sales growth of 14.4%
  • Life Science drives organic sales growth
  • Merck intensifies R&D activities in Healthcare
  • EBITDA pre exceptionals up 6.3%
  • Merck builds up net cash position
  • Forecast for full year 2015 confirmed

Darmstadt, Germany, August 6, 2015 – Merck, a leading company for innovative, top-quality high-tech products in healthcare, life science and performance materials, today announced renewed strong sales growth, amounting to 14.4% in the second quarter of 2015. EBITDA pre exceptionals also rose by 6.3%. Merck thus continued on its growth course in the first half of 2015.

“All three business sectors contributed to our good double-digit sales growth. Foreign exchange movements did help us, yet our businesses grew even without these additional tailwinds,” said Karl-Ludwig Kley, Chairman of the Executive Board of Merck. “We confirm our forecast for the full year 2015.” Group net sales increased by 14.4% to € 3.2 billion in the second quarter of 2015 (Q2 2014: € 2.8 billion). Sales grew organically by 2.2%. Significantly positive currency effects of 10.2% and portfolio effects due to the integration of AZ Electronic Materials (AZ) amounting to 1.9% also contributed to growth. From a geographic perspective, the Asia-Pacific, Latin America, and Middle East and Africa regions fueled organic sales growth.

Driven by good operational performance and a favorable currency environment, EBITDA pre exceptionals, the key earnings indicator of the Merck Group, rose by 6.3% to € 899 million (Q2 2014: €  846 million). Higher research and development spending, mainly relating to the intensification of research in the Healthcare business sector, dampened EBITDA pre exceptionals. The absence of royalty and license income included in the previous year also had a negative impact on EBITDA pre exceptionals. Group EBIT increased 13.7% to € 501 million (Q2 2014: € 441 million). Net income rose in the second quarter by 13.2% to € 343 million (Q2 2014: € 303 million).

Earnings per share pre exceptionals rose in the second quarter of 2015 by 12.1% to € 1.30 (Q2 2014: € 1.16).
In the course of the second quarter of 2015, Merck built up a net cash position amounting to € 567 million on June 30. However, net financial debt is expected to soon increase significantly as a result of the planned acquisition of Sigma-Aldrich. Merck had 40,192 employees worldwide on June 30, 2015.
Merck-Living Innovation
Merck businesses perform well in the first half
In the first half of 2015, net sales of the Merck Group increased by 15.0% to € 6.3 billion (Jan.-June 2014: € 5.4 billion). Foreign exchange movements led to a sales increase of 9.6% or € 523 million. All business sectors contributed to organic sales growth, which amounted to 1.8% in the first half of 2015. The acquisition of AZ also had a positive impact of 3.6% on sales.

In the first half of 2015, EBITDA pre exceptionals of the Merck Group totaled € 1.8 billion (Jan.-June 2014: € 1.7 billion), thus exceeding the previous year’s figure by € 100 million or 6.0%. Earnings per share pre exceptionals climbed by 4.7% to € 2.43 in the first half of 2015 (Jan.-June 2014: € 2.32).

Healthcare benefits from organic business in growth markets
The Healthcare business sector generated organic sales growth of 1.5% in the second quarter of 2015. Including positive foreign exchange effects of 7.8%, net sales rose overall by 9.2% to € 1.8 billion (Q2 2014: € 1.7 billion). The organic increase in sales was driven in particular by pharmaceuticals to treat diabetes (Glucophage), thyroid disorders (Euthyrox), and cardiovascular diseases (Concor), as well as Neurobion, a brand marketed by the Consumer Health business. From a geographic perspective, organic growth was mainly driven by the Latin America and Asia-Pacific regions.

Rebif, which is used to treat relapsing forms of multiple sclerosis, posted a sharp -12.0% organic decrease in sales in the second quarter of 2015 owing to strong competition from oral formulations. Amid currency tailwinds of 11.3%, Rebif sales were stable at € 461 million (Q2 2014: € 464 million). Despite a slight organic decline, sales of the oncology drug Erbitux rose to € 233 million (Q2 2014: € 229 million). Merck generated organic sales growth of 1.6% with the fertility medicine Gonal-f. Currency tailwinds increased sales to € 177 million (Q2 2014: € 161 million).

The second quarter saw not only higher net sales, but also higher investments, firstly in targeted marketing activities in growth markets and secondly in research and development. Consequently, EBITDA pre exceptionals of the Healthcare business sector declined by -2.8 % to € 480 million in the second quarter of 2015 (Q2 2014: € 493 million). “As announced, we have deliberately invested in research and development in order to drive important pipeline projects such as our anti-PD-L1 antibody avelumab,” said Karl-Ludwig Kley.

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Posted by on August 6, 2015 in Industry

 

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German drug maker Merck KGaA finds Indian market promising for its pharma, consumer health business

MUMBAI: Merck KGaA, the family-controlled $12.5-billion German drug maker, has identified India as one of its key markets under a global expansion strategy, amplified with forecasts that the economy could be equal or even outpace China over time.

Speaking to ET in an interview, Belen Garijo, chief executive of Merck Serono, the biopharmaceutical business of Merck KGaA (distinct from US-based Merck & Co), said the market potential for her company’s pharma and consumer health business is promising. But Garijo warned of immediate challenges, like concerns over pricing of medicines and recognising innovation, which she said are creating a level of unpredictability and volatility in the way future plans are shaped. “We are closely watching what the environment will look like and how it will impact the full potential of the group,” she said.

Garijo’s comments echo the reservations expressed by a few other global drug makers about Indian laws related to intellectual property rights and an unpredictable pricing policy.

Increasing government investments in supporting the healthcare needs of the population can help expand the market, she suggested, while adding that despite the fears about the policy environment, the company will continue to put significant investments behind its product portfolios, both in the key general medicines and cardio-metabolic disease areas.

Merck, known in the industry as the oldest pharmaceutical firm, is also one of the biggest producers of Vitamin E in India. It sells well known oncology drug Erbitux in addition to a portfolio of fertility, endocrinology, cardiovascular and diabetes drugs. IMS data for June show with 9.6 per cent growth, Merck was the fourth fastest growing among the top 10 multinational pharma companies in the Indian market.

pharma.jpgThat may look sobering considering that the German drug maker ranked 33rd in the overall pecking order in the extremely competitive Indian market. For the future, Garijo places her bets on the evolving biologics market with the launch of new generation oncology and immune-oncology drugs. Last November, Merck and Pfizer formed a comprehensive global alliance for the development and commercialisation of a class of cancer drugs (PD-1/PD-L1 antibody) that enables the body’s immune system to selectively recognise and attack cancer cells.

Garijo, who previously worked with French drug maker Sanofi, said launch of those drugs may be delayed in emerging markets due to issues related to affordability. Garijo said her company was putting in place plans which include India in the development process of oncology and immune-oncology products.

Avelumab, the first anti-PD-L1 (programmed death-Ligand 1) antibody from Merck and Pfizer, will have 20 clinical trial programmes and most of these will be pivotal trials that will give clear ideas on the major indications in developed markets, Garijo said, adding that the local India team will be involved in those plans.

According to her, deployment of financing mechanisms for highend medicines would be key in determining how the basic healthcare needs of the Indian population would be served in the future. “We need the right environment to host, promote and adopt innovation and give us certainty that we will be able to operate effectively in meeting the timelines, and we are convinced that this can be done,” Garijo said.

Besides its interest in the Indian market, Merck has a long history of striking alliances with Indian drug makers. In 2012, Merck Serono and Dr Reddy’s signed a deal for the development of biosimilars. Last year, it signed a deal with Lupin to develop and supply products spanning antibiotics to diabetes drugs. Garijo said both the alliances were progressing along expected timelines.

Emerging markets, which Merck describes as growth markets, contributes about 34 per cent of its total global sales but Garijo said with an expected pickup in sales in developed markets like the US, with a maturing portfolio of oncology drugs, that may see some rebalancing. She however expected about a third of the sales coming from growth markets.

 
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Posted by on August 4, 2015 in Industry

 

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Merck Serono Introduces New Eeva Test Version Aiming for Optimized Assisted Reproductive Outcomes

  • Merck Serono continues to provide health care professionals with innovative fertility technologies that aim to improve embryo assessment during ART cycles
  • The new Eeva Test 2.3 features the Xtend Algorithm, utilizing new parameters to capture a more complete picture of embryo development

Darmstadt, Germany, June, 30, 2015 – Merck Serono, the biopharmaceutical business of Merck, today announced the launch of the new Eeva® (Early Embryo Viability Assessment) Test with the Xtend Algorithm, the advanced version of a non-invasive test to aid embryo assessment within assisted reproductive treatment (ART). The new version builds upon the scientific and clinical record of Merck Serono’s established Eeva System and utilizes a new algorithm to provide a multi-dimensional model for assessing and predicting the development of embryos. The advanced Xtend Algorithm enables ART labs to capture a more complete picture of embryo development and – when used adjunctively with traditional morphology – increases the chances of identifying embryos that have the highest developmental potential compared to traditional morphology alone. With the launch of the improved system, Merck Serono further expands its portfolio in fertility technology which is becoming increasingly important to improve fertility treatment outcomes.

Meeta Gulyani, Head of Global Strategy and Franchises, Merck Serono

Meeta Gulyani, Head of Global Strategy and Franchises, Merck Serono

“Introducing the Eeva System 2.3 and its Xtend Algorithm shows our commitment to continuous innovation to ultimately improve success rates in ART,” said Meeta Gulyani, Head of Global Strategy and Franchises at Merck Serono. “We see strong opportunities for scientific innovation in fertility technologies and will continue to invest in developing new products and evolving existing ones, such as the Eeva Test. As the world’s leader and pioneer in fertility treatment, we are drawing upon our strong heritage in the field to further support IVF clinicians in helping women and couples realize their dream of welcoming a baby to their family.”

The Eeva System uses automated image analysis software to capture and analyze embryo cell activity that the human eye is not capable of detecting, providing objective and consistent test results for ART clinicians. Building upon the robust scientific foundation of its established predecessor, the improved Eeva System 2.3 includes a new multi-dimensional algorithm to address the demand for more objectivity and standardization within ART and optimized outcomes. The Xtend Algorithm was identified through a rigorous R&D process, which investigated over 1,000 potential parameters before determining the most relevant ones for improving the chance of identifying the embryos with the highest potential of ART success if used adjunctively with traditional morphology. Extending beyond measurement of cell division timings, the Xtend Algorithm includes additional parameters, leading to five parameters overall that are applied to each embryo and mapped against a multi-dimensional prediction model. The Xtend Algorithm was developed on a large data set from 12 sites, 373 women and 3,328 embryos, and validated on an independent data set to demonstrate objective and consistent test results. The Eeva System 2.3 further provides a new five-tier classification system, designed to offer more assessment options to better distinguish the embryo with highest developmental potential when used adjunctively with traditional morphology.

About the Eeva Test
The non-invasive Early Embryo Viability Assessment (Eeva®) Test when used adjunctively with traditional morphology may improve IVF outcomes by providing IVF clinicians and patients with objective information on embryo viability. The Eeva System utilizes proprietary software that automatically analyzes embryo development against scientifically and clinically validated parameters. With Eeva’s quantitative data on each embryo’s potential development, IVF clinicians can optimize the treatment path for their patients undergoing IVF procedures.

Progyny, Inc. formed March 2015 is the combined entity of Auxogyn, Inc. and FertilityAuthority, LCC. In March 2014, Auxogyn Inc. granted Merck Serono exclusive rights to commercialize Auxogyn’s proprietary Early Embryo Viability Assessment (Eeva) Test in Europe and Canada, with the option to extend to selected countries. Progyny retains the commercial rights to the Eeva Test in the United States. The agreement is the latest development in the ongoing collaboration between Merck Serono and Progyny, which began in 2010 when Merck invested in Auxogyn through its corporate venture capital fund, MS Ventures.

Auxogyn received the CE mark for Eeva in July 2012, and at the end of the first half of 2015, Merck will have launched the test in 13 countries across Europe and Canada. In the United States, clearance for the Eeva System was granted by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration through its de novo classification process in June 2014.Eeva® Test

About Merck Serono
Merck Serono is the biopharmaceutical business of Merck. With headquarters in Darmstadt, Germany, Merck Serono offers leading brands in 150 countries to help patients with cancer, multiple sclerosis, infertility, endocrine and metabolic disorders as well as cardiovascular diseases. In the United States and Canada, EMD Serono operates as a separately incorporated subsidiary of Merck Serono. Merck Serono discovers, develops, manufactures and markets prescription medicines of both chemical and biological origin in specialist indications. We have an enduring commitment to deliver novel therapies in our core focus areas of neurology, oncology, immuno-oncology and immunology.

For more information, please visit http://www.merckserono.com

 
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Posted by on July 3, 2015 in Merck, Merck Serono

 

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Merck Supports Free Diabetes Screening in collaboration with Maharashtra University of Health Sciences (MHUS) and Ministry of Public Health and Family Welfare (MOPHFW) in India, kicks off June 25 as Maharashtra Merck Diabetes Day

  • Merck kicks off June 25 as Maharashtra Merck Diabetes Day- MDD in collaboration with Ministry of Public Health and Family Welfare of Maharashtra.
  • Merck joins hands with Maharashtra University of Health Sciences (MUHS) and Directorate of Medical Education and Research (DMER) to celebrate the success of the first year of Merck Capacity Advancement Program in India.
  • Merck supports medical education for more than 5,000 medical students and free Diabetes screening for more than 20,000 community members In Maharashtra.

Mumbai, India, June 25, 2015 – Merck, a leading company for innovative and top-quality high-tech products in the pharmaceutical, chemical and life-science sectors, rolls out today Merck Diabetes Day- MDD in collaboration with Maharashtra University of Health Sciences (MUHS) and Ministry of Public Health and Family Welfare of Maharashtra Government in order to provide diabetes free screening and education for more than 20,000 community members at the 18 medical colleges of MUHS as part of Merck Capacity Advancement Program.

Merck Maharashtra Diabetes DayThe Maharashtra Merck Diabetes Day- MDD will be rolled out across India and Africa to raise public awareness about Diabetes early detection and prevention aiming to reverse this worrying trend by preventing or delaying the development of diabetes in the African and Indian population as part of Merck Corporate Social Responsibility Agenda.

On the same day, Merck in collaboration with Maharashtra University of Health Sciences will also celebrate the success of the first year of Merck Capacity Advancement Program in India. More than 5000 medical undergraduates and healthcare providers have benefited from the European accredited Clinical Diabetes Management course in 2015. The program aims to target more than 25,000 students in India in the next five years.

Dr Frank Stangenberg Haverkamp, The Chairman of Executive Board and Family Board of E. Merck KG

Dr Frank Stangenberg Haverkamp, The Chairman of Executive Board and Family Board of E. Merck KG

During Maharashtra Merck Diabetes Day, Dr Frank Stangenberg Haverkamp, The Chairman of Executive Board and Family Board of E. Merck KG stated “We are pleased to engage with the Ministry of Public Health and Family Welfare, Directorate of Medical Education and Research (DMER) and Maharashtra University of Health Sciences to improve access to better Diabetes Care as part of our commitment to the social and economic development of India. Supporting the Diabetes education and community outreach programs of the University will contribute significantly to improving awareness, early diagnosis and prevention of the disease across India”.

The rising numbers of diabetics all over the world calls for prioritizing diabetes care and awareness to prevent the disease from turning into an epidemic. The Merck Capacity Advancement Program seeks to improve the healthcare sector in India with special focus on rural areas through educating and empowering those affected by diabetes on how to manage and prevent it.

Rasha Kelej. Vice president and head of Global Business Responsibility and Market Development at Merck Serono, SVPA-02
biopharmaceutical business of Merck emphasized at the event “In India, there is a significant increase in the burden of non- communicable diseases, including diabetes. There is clear evidence to show that diabetes prevalence is rapidly increasing, especially in urban India. The conventional risk factors of urbanization, unhealthy eating habits and physical inactivity, coupled with inherent genetic attributes and differences in body composition are propelling the increase in cases of diabetes. Accordingly, diabetes related complications are also on the rise and contribute significantly to overall morbidity and mortality. It was clear for us from the start that improvement of the levels of education and awareness of the disease will reduce its impact on health of the Indian population.”

Prof. Arun Jamkar, Vice Chancellor of Maharashtra University of Health Sciences, MUHS emphasized “Today we are happy to celebrate the success of the first year of the program. We have successfully engaged the stakeholders in the field of medicine and diabetes in Maharashtra In SVPA-05joint collaboration with DMER and Merck to implement their Capacity Advancement Program, this Diabetes education and awareness program aim to provide awareness, guidelines and clinical practice for prevention, diagnosis and management of diabetes and its complications for Maharashtra community members and medical undergraduates of the 18 medical colleges in Maharashtra university.”

Hon. Dr. Deepak R. Sawant Minister of Public Health and Family Welfare, Maharashtra Government during the inauguration event of the Maharashtra Merck Diabetes Day – MMDD emphasized “The cost of managing diabetes is enormous and places a huge burden on already strained healthcare system. The lack of awareness on disease symptoms makes many diabetes patients to be diagnosed late when they have already developed complications such as blindness, foot ulcers or gangrene, heart diseases among others. There is a strong, new argument that by combining screening to find pre-diabetes and early diabetes, along with management aimed to keep glucose levels as close to normal as possible, we can change the natural history of the disease and improve the lives of our patients. Hence, I urge all Indians to get screened and be active in order to get healthier.”

 
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Posted by on July 2, 2015 in Industry, Merck, Wellness

 

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Merck Launches “More than a Mother” Campaign Aiming to Reduce Social Suffering of Infertile Women in Africa

  • “More than a Mother” will first be implemented in Kenya in partnership with University of Nairobi and Kenya Women Parliamentary Association and progressively rolled out in further African countries

Nairobi, Kenya, June 23, 2015 – Merck, a leading company for innovative, top-quality high-tech products in healthcare, life science and performance materials, today announced the launch of the “More than a Mother” campaign as part of the Merck Capacity Advancement Program. The campaign will first be implemented in Kenya, in collaboration with the University of Nairobi and the Kenya Women Parliamentary Association, and progressively rolled out in further African countries.

In some cultures, childless women still suffer discrimination, stigma and ostracism. As such, a central difficulty associated with infertility is that it can transform from an acute, private distress into a harsh, public stigma with complex and devastating consequences. An inability to have a child or to become pregnant can result in being greatly isolated, disinherited or assaulted. This may result in divorce or physical and psychological violence.

Belén Garijo, Member of the Executive Board of Merck and CEO Merck Healthcare, while signing off the campaign during her meeting with the University of Nairobi and the Kenya Women Parliamentary Association

Belén Garijo, Member of the Executive Board of Merck and CEO Merck Healthcare, while kicking off the campaign during her meeting with the University of Nairobi and the Kenya Women Parliamentary Association

“Providing access to infertility care is important, but it is even more important to intervene to decrease stigmatization and social suffering arising from this condition,” said Belén Garijo, Member of the Executive Board of Merck and CEO Healthcare at Merck, during her meeting with the University of Nairobi and the Kenya Women Parliamentary Association to kick off the campaign.

Merck’s Capacity Advancement Program (CAP) forms a key pillar of the Group’s Corporate Responsibility activities in the strategic area of activity health. The 5-year program aims at expanding the professional capacity in developing countries in the areas such as research and development, advocacy building, medical education or community awareness. By the end of 2018, Merck plans to target more than 19,000 students in African, Asian, Latin American and Middle Eastern countries, with special focus on non–communicable diseases such as diabetes, cancer and fertility management.

Prof. Koigi Kamau, University of Nairobi stressed: “Through the “More than a Mother” campaign, we will challenge the perception about infertile women, their roles and worth in society, both within and beyond the medical profession in order to achieve any systemic shift in the current culture of gender discrimination in the context of fertility care.”

The program will provide medical education and awareness for medical students and general practitioners and will also support governments to define policies to improve access to safe and effective fertility care, address the need for interventions to reduce stigmatization and social suffering of infertile women and raise awareness about male infertility and the necessity for a team approach to family building among couples.

Through this campaign Merck, a pioneer in reproductive health, will address together with local stakeholders, the key challenges that are associated with resource-constrained settings such as prevention of infertility, education and self-development, regulation of assisted reproductive technology (ART) and in-vitro fertilization (IVF), geographic barriers, reproductive rights and over-population and limited resources arguments. A particular emphasis will be put on prevention programs, as infertility is caused by infections in over 85% of women in the Sub-Saharan region, compared to 33% worldwide.

Hon. Joyce Lay, Member of the Kenyan Parliament, emphasized: “In order to improve access to safe and effective fertility care, a discussion with the relevant authorities will be needed to discuss the strengthening of infertility services, education, auditing, regulation, community awareness and the need to integrate them in programs which already exist in the local health infrastructure.”

About the Merck Capacity Advancement Program (CAP)
The Merck CAP is a 5-year program aiming to expand the professional capacity in developing countries in the areas of research and development, advocacy building, supply-chain integrity and efficiency, pharmacovigilance, medical education, and community awareness.

As part of the CAP, by end of 2015, more than 5,000 medical students in partnership with African universities such as University of Nairobi, Makerere University, Namibia University and University of Ghana, in addition to Asian universities such as Maharashtra university, India and University of Indonesia will benefit from European-accredited clinical chronic diseases management training, which is seeking to equip them with skills to better manage and prevent these diseases.

Merck is planning to target more than 19,000 students by the end of 2018 expanding to more African, Asian, Latin American and Middle Eastern countries with special focus on non–communicable diseases such as diabetes, cancer and fertility management. The program will also kick off initiatives on building research capacity and improving supply chain in order to improve patient safety in Africa.

 
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Posted by on June 24, 2015 in Merck, Merck Serono

 

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Merck Serono’s MSdialog Wins Medical Design Excellence Award (MDEA) 2015 in the Category Readers Choice

  • MSdialog software chosen out of 45 entries by popular vote as winner for favorite product
  • MSdialog designed to provide multiple sclerosis (MS) patients on Rebif (interferon beta-1a) and health care providers with injection history, treatment adherence information and health reports
  • Award recognizes Merck Serono’s commitment to innovation and providing solutions to engage people with MS and their healthcare providers

Darmstadt, Germany, June 22, 2015 – Merck Serono, the biopharmaceutical business of Merck, today announced that MSdialog, the company’s digital-tracking software for people living with MS, has been chosen as the winner of this year’s Medical Design Excellence Awards (MDEA) Readers’ Choice Award, as well as honored as a finalist in the Rehabilitation and Assistive-Technology Products category for its compelling and innovative design. MDEA are the premier awards for the medical technology industry that honor the highest caliber medical devices on the market today.

Meeta Gulyani, Head of Global Strategy and Franchises, Merck Serono

Meeta Gulyani, Head of Global Strategy and Franchises, Merck Serono

Innovations are at the heart of Merck and its businesses like Merck Serono. In this biopharmaceutical business it is not only about innovations with new drugs but also with their applications by the patients. In this field Merck Serono also has a leading position which is more and more recognized and honored by the outside world for example with two Red Dot Design Awards announced last week and now with the Medical Design Excellence Awards (MDEA) Readers’ Choice Award.

“We are thrilled to be honored as the Readers Choice winner and an MDEA category finalist as it recognizes our commitment to innovation and to providing unique health care solutions to patients,” said Meeta Gulyani, Head of Global Strategy and Franchises at Merck Serono. “This award also acknowledges our position as a leading designer and developer in the medical device industry. To date, MSdialog has offered thousands of people with MS and their care team an efficient way to monitor their treatment adherence, track symptoms and improve the quality of conversations during visits with their HCPs. We are also delighted to recognize the contribution of our design partner, S3 Group, who played an important role in the design and delivery of MSdialog.”

Finalists will be featured in this month’s issue of Medical Device and Diagnostic Industry, a leading publication for the medical technology industry. The gold, silver and bronze winners in each category, in addition to Readers’ Choice and Best-in-Show Awards, were announced on June 9th at the official ceremony in New York City.

msdialog-opening-a-new-dialogue-in-ms-85913053MSdialog is a multi-tenant cloud-based software system for the management of MS that captures and presents patient outcome data to enable better decision-making by patients and providers. The software system provides patients with reminders to take their Rebif® (interferon beta-1a) medication, synchronizes with the RebiSmart® 2 auto-injector, monitors patient’s adherence information to their treatment, and monitors clinical data. MSdialog also allows people with MS to engage in the management of their disease by asking them to complete periodic health report questionnaires based on short forms of published instruments and standard scales, such as the Multiple Sclerosis Quality of Life Inventory (MSQLI) and the Multiple Sclerosis International Quality of Life (MusiQoL) questionnaires.

MSdialog is now available in 31 countries (not available in the United States).

About Medical Design Excellence Awards
Sponsored by MD+DI and organized by UBM Canon, MDEA is the premier awards program for the medical technology community. It recognizes the achievements of medical device manufacturers, their suppliers, and the many people behind the scenes—engineers, scientists, designers, and clinicians—who are responsible for the groundbreaking innovations that are changing the face of healthcare. MDEA-winning entries excel in the areas of product innovation, design and engineering achievement, end-user benefit, and cost-effectiveness in manufacturing and healthcare delivery.

About Rebif
Rebif (interferon beta-1a) is a disease-modifying drug used to treat relapsing forms of multiple sclerosis (MS) and is similar to the interferon beta protein produced by the human body. The efficacy of Rebif in chronic progressive MS has not been established. Interferon ß is thought to help reduce inflammation. The exact mechanism is unknown. Rebif, which was approved in Europe in 1998 and in the US in 2002, is registered in more than 90 countries worldwide. Rebif has been proven to delay the progression of disability, reduce the frequency of relapses and reduce MRI lesion activity and area*. Rebif can be administrated with the RebiSmart electronic auto-injection device, or with the RebiDose single-use disposable pen, or the manual multidose injection pen RebiSlide. Rebif can also be administered with the autoinjector Rebiject II or by manual injection using ready-to-use pre-filled syringes. These injection devices are not available in all countries. In January 2012, the European commission approved the extension of the indication of Rebif in early multiple sclerosis. The extension of the indication of Rebif has not been submitted in the United States. Rebif should be used with caution in patients with a history of depression, liver disease and seizures. Most commonly reported side effects are flu-like symptoms, injection site disorders, elevation of liver enzymes and blood cell abnormalities. Patients, especially those with depression, seizure disorders, or liver problems, should discuss treatment with Rebif with their doctors.

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 S3 Group
S3 Group is a leading designer of Connected Health Solutions. Headquartered in Dublin Ireland S3 Group specializes in delivering solutions that impact healthcare outcomes. This is the third time S3 Group has been honored as a supplier to an MDEA award winner. For more information please go to:
http://www.s3group.com/connected-health

About Merck Serono
Merck Serono is the biopharmaceutical business of Merck. With headquarters in Darmstadt, Germany, Merck Serono offers leading brands in 150 countries to help patients with cancer, multiple sclerosis, infertility, endocrine and metabolic disorders as well as cardiovascular diseases. In the United States and Canada, EMD Serono operates as a separately incorporated subsidiary of Merck Serono. Merck Serono discovers, develops, manufactures and markets prescription medicines of both chemical and biological origin in specialist indications. We have an enduring commitment to deliver novel therapies in our core focus areas of neurology, oncology, immuno-oncology and immunology.

For more information, please visit http://www.merckserono.com.

All Merck Press Releases are distributed by e-mail at the same time they become available on the Merck Website. Please go to http://www.merckgroup.com/subscribe to register online, change your selection or discontinue this service.

Merck is a leading company for innovative and top-quality high-tech products in healthcare, life science and performance materials. The company has six businesses – Merck Serono, Consumer Health, Allergopharma, Biosimilars, Merck Millipore and Performance Materials – and generated sales of around € 11.3 billion in 2014. Around 39,000 Merck 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 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, 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.

* The exact correlation between MRI findings and the current or future clinical status of patients, including disability progression, is unknown.

 
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Posted by on June 22, 2015 in Industry

 

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Merck Serono Wins Two Red Dot Design Awards 2015 for High Quality Design of Fertility Pens

  • Out of nearly 5,000 entries, Merck Serono won acclaim in the 60th anniversary of the Red Dot Award: Product Design 2015
  • Award recognizes Merck Serono’s commitment to developing innovative drug delivery devices with high convenience and reliability

Darmstadt, Germany, June 10, 2015 – Merck Serono, the biopharmaceutical business of Merck, today announced that the product design of its fertility pens won over the 38-member jury of the Red Dot Award: Product Design 2015. The company was honored with a total of two awards for its Merck Serono Fertility Family of PensTM in this year’s competition. The pens are used in fertility treatment to inject hormones for follicle stimulation, helping women and couples realize their dream of having a baby.

Meeta Gulyani, Head of Global Strategy and Franchises, Merck Serono

Meeta Gulyani, Head of Global Strategy and Franchises, Merck Serono

“Winning two Red Dot Awards for our Family of Pens is a remarkable achievement for Merck Serono which acknowledges our dedication and attention to detail in designing these innovative drug delivery devices to meet the needs of patients”, said Meeta Gulyani, Head of Global Strategy and Franchises at Merck Serono. “Bringing to life our motto ´As One for Patients´, developing these products was a collaborative process involving, Merck Serono´s business as well as medical device experts and our manufacturing partner the company Haselmeier. Receiving the Red Dot Awards shows that, by working together closely, we succeeded in developing devices with a unique design and high user friendliness that inspire confidence and convey reliability.”

Merck Serono’s Family of Pens is the first pre-filled, ready-to-use set of injection devices for fertility treatment. It is based on healthcare professionals’ and patients’ feedback to provide a common injection platform for Merck Serono’s gonadotropins. One of these essential hormones to treat infertility is Merck Serono’s Gonal-f® (follitropin alfa), a recombinant human follicle-stimulating hormone (r-hFSH) which is prescribed to supplement or replace naturally occurring FSH in women undergoing assisted reproductive technology (ART). In 2011, Merck Serono launched Gonal-f as a pre-filled pen for self-administration which has since been introduced in 74 countries. Other models support the injection of Ovidrel®.

With their clear and functional product design language, the pens ranked first amongst tough competition for a Red Dot Award, which is celebrating its 60th anniversary. The Award committee received a total of 4,928 entries from 56 countries this year. Throughout the world and across different industries, Red Dot is seen as the award for high design quality. The Red Dot Awards will be presented at a gala event in Essen (Germany) on 29 June 2015. The winning products are then presented for four weeks in the special exhibition “Design on Stage” before being included in the museum’s permanent exhibition. With roughly 2,000 exhibits over 4,000 square meters, the Red Dot Design Museum presents the world’s largest exhibition of contemporary design.

About the Red Dot Award
In order to appraise the diversity in the field of design in a professional manner, the Red Dot Design Award breaks down into the three disciplines of Red Dot Award: Product Design, Red Dot Award: Communication Design and Red Dot Award: Design Concept.

The Red Dot Award was created by Design Zentrum Nordrhein Westfalen and with around 17,000 entries each year is one of the best-respected design competitions in the world. In 2015, it is celebrating its 60th anniversary: It was in 1955 that a jury convened for the first time to assess the best designs of the day. The sought-after award, the “Red Dot”, is the revered international seal of outstanding design quality.

Award-winning designers, manufacturers and agencies use the Red Dot winner label and receive numerous other winners’ privileges, such as the presentation of the award-winning product on Red Dot Online, in the Red Dot Design Yearbook, the Red Dot App and on Red Dot 21. Additionally, the winning products are communicated in the international PR activities of Red Dot and exhibited in the Red Dot Design Museum Essen for a whole year.

More information is available at http://www.red-dot.org/press.

Red Dot Design Awards2015

About Merck Serono
Merck Serono is the biopharmaceutical business of Merck. With headquarters in Darmstadt, Germany, Merck Serono offers leading brands in 150 countries to help patients with cancer, multiple sclerosis, infertility, endocrine and metabolic disorders as well as cardiovascular diseases. In the United States and Canada, EMD Serono operates as a separately incorporated subsidiary of Merck Serono.

Merck Serono discovers, develops, manufactures and markets prescription medicines of both chemical and biological origin in specialist indications. We have an enduring commitment to deliver novel therapies in our core focus areas of neurology, oncology, immuno-oncology and immunology. For more information, please visit http://www.merckserono.com.

All Merck Press Releases are distributed by e-mail at the same time they become available on the Merck Website. Please go to http://www.merckgroup.com/subscribe to register online, change your selection or discontinue this service. Merck is a leading company for innovative and top-quality high-tech products in healthcare, life science and performance materials. The company has six businesses – Merck Serono, Consumer Health, Allergopharma, Biosimilars, Merck Millipore and Performance Materials – and generated sales of around € 11.3 billion in 2014. Around 39,000 Merck 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 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, 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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Posted by on June 12, 2015 in Industry

 

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