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EMD Serono and FAST FORWARD, LLC Announce Collaboration to Accelerate Development of Treatments for Multiple Sclerosis
Date:3/18/2009

-- EMD Serono and Fast Forward agree to work together to speed research development on a select group of high potential MS research projects with support of up to $19 million in funding

ROCKLAND, Mass. and NEW YORK, March 18/PRNewswire/ -- EMD Serono, Inc., an affiliate of Merck KGaA, Darmstadt Germany, and Fast Forward, LLC, a wholly-owned subsidiary of the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, today announced a collaborative partnership to evaluate and fund promising multiple sclerosis (MS) research projects. Proposals will be jointly developed by EMD Serono and Fast Forward. Merck KGaA, the parent corporation of EMD Serono, Inc., will provide up to $19 million in funding. The funds will support early stage clinical development projects with biotech companies or projects with individual researchers or academic institutions.

To speed MS research and clinical development, the companies have entered into a two-year worldwide agreement that may extend for an additional three years.

"EMD Serono and the National MS Society have an unwavering commitment to the support of early stage research in the quest to find new and improved treatment options for MS patients. It is with great excitement that our organization supports this initiative with Fast Forward, which will explore new avenues to advance new MS treatments with the potential to transform people's lives," said Fereydoun Firouz, President and CEO, EMD Serono Inc.

Fast Forward, LLC was established by the National Multiple Sclerosis Society to help bridge the gap between research and drug development. To accomplish this goal, Fast Forward partners with early stage biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies to advance therapies, diagnostics, medical devices, and related technologies to treat, reverse, and ultimately cure MS. Fast Forward is committed to deploying its resources to spur development of innovative MS therapies and bring
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SOURCE EMD Serono, Inc.
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