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Promising Data on Cognitive Effects of Safinamide in Early,Parkinson's Disease

• Data presented at Movement Disorder Society’s 11th International Congress
• Management of cognitive impairment in early Parkinson’s disease patients is a critical unmet medical need

Geneva, Switzerland, June 8, 2007 – Merck Serono S.A. (virt-x: SEO) and its partner Newron Pharmaceuticals S.p.a. (SWX: NWRN) announced today data, which suggest that safinamide, a new agent in Phase III development for the treatment of Parkinson’s disease, has an effect on cognitive performance in study patients with early Parkinson’s disease. These data were presented yesterday in a poster session at the Movement Disorder Society’s 11th International Congress in Istanbul, Turkey.

The data are from a 6-month (24 weeks), randomized, double blind, placebo-controlled, international Phase III trial. Some results from this trial were presented last month at the American Academy of Neurology 59th Annual Meeting and showed that safinamide significantly improved motor symptoms and activities of daily living for patients in the trial, as an add-on treatment to dopamine agonist therapy1. The cognition testing was carried out in an exploratory manner in selected centers, which agreed to conduct this part of the trial.

“Parkinson’s disease affects several cognitive functions even at an early stage of the disease”, said Professor Anthony Schapira, chairman of the University Department of Clinical Neuroscience, Royal Free and University College London Medical School, and an investigator of the study. "These study results suggest that safinamide may have an effect on cognitive performance in patients with early Parkinson’s disease, and has the potential to address a critical unmet medical need”.

The data demonstrated that the addition of safinamide to a stable dose of a single dopamine agonist in study patients with early stage Parkinson’s disease resulted in
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