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EMD Serono, Inc. Announces Expansion with Research Site in Cambridge, Massachusetts

- Supports US Drug Discovery Activities in Neurodegenerative Diseases-

ROCKLAND, Mass., March 30 /PRNewswire/ -- EMD Serono, Inc. announced today that it will open a site in Cambridge, Massachusetts to support its growing Research function. The Cambridge laboratory space will accommodate EMD Serono's US drug discovery activities in neurodegenerative diseases such as multiple sclerosis (MS), which will augment the company's existing US research in oncology and fertility. EMD Serono expects to occupy the site with nearly 50 scientists across disciplines, including neurobiology, pharmacology and chemistry, to work at the location.

"This research expansion further supports EMD Serono's commitment to develop and deliver innovative therapies for patients in our areas of focus," said Fereydoun Firouz, President and CEO, EMD Serono, Inc. "EMD Serono is following our outlined strategy to broaden our research capabilities by expanding our footprint in the state of Massachusetts in close proximity to leading academic centers and qualified expertise that can be complimentary to our organization and add researchers that can grow with our team. I am proud to be delivering on our plans of continued investments to firmly establish a foothold within the state and with this expansion we confirm and reinforce our strong commitment to neurodegenerative diseases and MS research."

"EMD Serono's continued expansion in Massachusetts confirms the leadership's commitment to growing in the state and providing talented individuals with potential employment opportunities as they work to develop new treatment options for the many patients in need," said Robert Coughlin, President and CEO of Massachusetts Biotechnology Council. "This is an important announcement, during this time of economic pressure that gives some reassurance that leading biopharmaceutical companies such as EMD Serono have stability with hiring, expanding and investing plans still on track."

In 2008, EMD Serono announced a planned expansion of its Billerica laboratory to create a center of excellence in discovery, which is scheduled for completion in 2010. The Cambridge satellite laboratory, which will be approximately 18,000 square feet in size, will address the company's immediate need to secure necessary laboratory space for its additional scientists as a result of accelerated employee growth.

EMD Serono completed the first Phase III trial of an oral multiple sclerosis drug, cladribine, which is targeted for registration filing later this year. With these additional capabilities the company plans to focus research and development efforts towards Parkinson's disease, and other neurodegenerative diseases.

About EMD Serono, Inc.

EMD Serono, Inc., an affiliate 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, with Rebif(R) (interferon beta-1a), as well as in endocrinology, with Saizen(R) (somatropin (rDNA origin) for injection) and Serostim(R) (somatropin (rDNA origin) for injection). EMD Serono is a leader in fertility treatments, with Gonal-f(R) (follitropin alfa for injection), Luveris(R) (lutropin alfa for injection) and Ovidrel(R) Prefilled Syringe (choriogonadotropin alfa injection). With a clear focus on the patient and a leadership presence in the biopharmaceutical industry, EMD Serono's US footprint continues to grow, with more than 1000 employees around the country and fully integrated commercial, clinical and research operations in the company's home state of Massachusetts.

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SOURCE EMD Serono, Inc.
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