Merck Serono and Philochem Enter Into Research Agreement in Fertility

By Merck Serono S A, PRNE
Monday, December 20, 2010

GENEVA, December 21, 2010 - Merck Serono, the pharmaceutical division of Merck KGaA,
Darmstadt, Germany, today announced a strategic agreement with Philochem AG,
Switzerland, the research unit of Philogen S.p.A., Italy. Under the terms of
the agreement, Philochem will supply specific monoclonal antibodies to Merck
Serono, to be used in the search for molecular biomarkers of oocyte and
embryo quality. Further terms of the agreement are not disclosed.

Once validated, molecular biomarkers can be used for the
development of predictive or diagnostic tests that can help physicians assess
objectively oocyte and embryo quality.

"We are convinced that the development of innovative
non-invasive diagnostic tests to evaluate oocyte and embryo quality could
help In Vitro Fertilization specialists offer infertile couples the best
chance of achieving their dream of having a baby on their own," said Bernhard
, Executive Vice President, Head of Global Research and Development
at Merck Serono.

"Philochem has a considerable track record in the isolation of
specific binding molecules. We are delighted to enter into this collaborative
agreement with Merck Serono in the area of fertility and we look forward to
contributing to the advancement of In Vitro Fertilization techniques," said
Dr. Eveline Trachsel, Director of Research, at Philochem AG.

Merck Serono is the world leader in fertility treatments. The
company's vision is to develop and provide innovative, easy-to-use products
and devices, as well as new technologies to help infertile couples at every
stage of the reproductive cycle: from follicular development to early

About Merck Serono and Fertility Treatment

Merck Serono is the world leader in fertility treatments, and the only
company to offer a full portfolio of fertility drugs for every stage of the
reproductive cycle and recombinant versions of the three hormones needed to
treat infertility: GONAL-f(R) (follitropin alfa), to stimulate the ovaries
and produce eggs in women and spermatogenesis induction in men; Luveris(R)
(lutropin alfa), to stimulate follicular development in women who are
profoundly LH deficient; Ovitrelle(R) (choriogonadotropin alfa), to help
follicles mature and release eggs; Pergoveris(R) (follitropin alfa/lutropin
alfa) to stimulate follicular development in women with severe LH and FSH
deficiency; Cetrotide(R) (cetrorelix acetate) to prevent a premature
ovulation; and Crinone(R) (progesterone gel), to help establish and maintain
a pregnancy. Not all products are available in all markets.

About Merck Serono

Merck Serono is the biopharmaceutical division of Merck KGaA,
Darmstadt, Germany, a global pharmaceutical and chemical company.
Headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland, Merck Serono discovers, develops,
manufactures and markets prescription medicines of both chemical and
biological origin in specialist indications. In the United States and Canada,
EMD Serono operates through separately incorporated affiliates.

Merck Serono has leading brands serving patients with cancer
(Erbitux(R), cetuximab), multiple sclerosis (Rebif(R), interferon beta-1a),
infertility (Gonal-f(R), follitropin alfa), endocrine and metabolic disorders
(Saizen(R) and Serostim(R), somatropin), (Kuvan(R), sapropterin
dihydrochloride) as well as cardiometabolic diseases (Glucophage(R),
metformin), (Concor(R), bisoprolol), (Euthyrox(R), levothyroxine). Not all
products are available in all markets.

With an annual R&D expenditure of over EUR 1bn, Merck Serono
is committed to growing its business in specialist-focused therapeutic areas
including neurodegenerative diseases, oncology, fertility and endocrinology,
as well as new areas potentially arising out of research and development in

About Merck

Merck is a global pharmaceutical and chemical company with
total revenues of EUR 7.7 billion in 2009, a history that began in 1668, and
a future shaped by approximately 40,000 (including Merck Millipore) employees
in 64 countries. Its success is characterized by innovations from
entrepreneurial employees. Merck's operating activities come under the
umbrella of Merck KGaA, in which the Merck family holds an approximately 70%
interest and free shareholders own the remaining approximately 30%. In 1917
the U.S. subsidiary Merck & Co. was expropriated and has been an independent
company ever since.

For more information, please visit

    Merck Serono S.A. - Geneva
    9 Chemin des Mines
    1202 Genève
    Media relations
    Tel: +41-22-414-36-00

Merck Serono S.A. - Geneva, 9 Chemin des Mines, 1202 Genève, Suisse, Media relations, Tel: +41-22-414-36-00

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