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Merck Serono and Apitope Announce Licensing Agreement on Novel Peptide Therapeutics for the Treatment of Multiple Sclerosis
Date:1/13/2009

al to complement existing MS drugs by offering a novel mode of action. By applying our existing stratified medicine approaches, we will also identify those MS patients who should benefit most from this potential treatment."

"We are very pleased that ATX-MS-1467 has attracted a major pharmaceutical partner such as Merck Serono with extensive experience and leadership in the development of therapies for multiple sclerosis," said Keith Martin, CEO of Apitope. "We view this collaboration as confirmation of Apitope's ability to develop early-stage first-in-class therapies for autoimmune diseases. In addition to continuing to build our in-house diagnostic platform in MS, we look forward to progressing ATX-MS-1467 with Merck Serono."

ATX-MS-1467 consists of four short peptides that are derived from myelin basic protein, a key autoantigen in MS. It is specifically designed to target up to 70% of MS patients who have a specific genetic profile.

About multiple sclerosis

Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a chronic, inflammatory condition of the nervous system and is the most common, non-traumatic, disabling neurological disease in young adults. The World Health Organization estimates that up to 2.5 million people suffer from 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 Merck Serono and multiple sclerosis

Merck Serono is a leader in multiple sclerosis (MS) with Rebif(R) (interferon beta-1a), a disease-modifying drug used to treat relapsing forms of MS, which is registered in more than 80 countries worldwide. Full prescribing information for this product can be obtained by contacting the Company or visiting its website. Additional therapeutic options are currently under development at Merck Serono, including oral cladribine,
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SOURCE Merck Serono
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