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Merck Serono Announces Initiation of the ORACLE MS Trial to Evaluate Cladribine Tablets in Patients at Risk of Developing Multiple Sclerosis
Date:9/17/2008

definite multiple sclerosis."

"As a leader in multiple sclerosis treatments, we are committed to providing new options that can further improve the course of the disease and the quality of life for people living with this disease," said Dr. Richard Douge, Executive Vice President, Global Marketing, Merck Serono. "The initiation of the ORACLE MS study further demonstrates our commitment to continue to build a solid portfolio of products for use in a broad multiple sclerosis patient population. We believe that our proprietary oral formulation of Cladribine has the potential to address an important unmet medical need at a critical time of disease development."

The ORACLE MS study is a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, international trial. It will involve more than 600 patients considered at risk of developing MS due to a recently experienced isolated demyelinating event (e.g. optic neuritis, myelopathy or brainstem syndrome) and having MRI brain scans consistent with early signs of MS. Study participants will be randomized in one of the three arms of the study to receive one of two different dosage regimens of Cladribine tablets or matching placebo tablets (1:1:1 ratio).

Patients will be treated for a period of two years (96 weeks), or up to the time when they experience a second attack leading to a diagnosis of clinically definite MS, in which case they would be offered open-label treatment with Rebif(R) 44 mcg three times a week for a 96-week maintenance treatment period. Patients who do not convert to clinically definite MS within the initial 96-week period of the study will be eligible to enroll in a 96- week long-term follow-up treatment period. These maintenance and long-term follow-up periods of the study are intended to assess the effect of early treatment with Cladribine tablets on relapses and subsequent treatment response to disease-modifying therapy for relapsing-remitting MS and to evaluate the sustained effect of Cladribi
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SOURCE Merck Serono International S A
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