Merck Serono Initiates the First Observational Study to Evaluate Adherence and Clinical Outcomes of Growth Hormone Saizen(R) in Patients Using easypod(TM)

By Merck Serono S A, PRNE
Sunday, February 13, 2011

GENEVA, February 14, 2011 - Merck Serono, the pharmaceutical division of Merck KGaA,
Darmstadt, Germany, today announced the enrollment of the first patients in
ECOS, the Easypod Connect Observational Study. ECOS is the first long-term
multi-national, observational study to assess the level of pediatric
patients' adherence to Saizen(R) [somatropin (rDNA origin) for injection]
therapy, Merck Serono's human recombinant growth hormone, delivered via its
electronic auto-injector easypod(TM), which records injection data. Another
objective of the study is to explore the potential impact of adherence on
clinical outcomes in patients receiving Saizen(R) via easypod(TM).

ECOS aims at following at least 1000 pediatric patients,
receiving Saizen(R) therapy in approved indications and dosages, over a
period of up to 5 years. During their patients' medical visit, the
investigators will monitor patients' injections history with the easypod(TM)
built-in dose memory, which will be downloaded to a data storage software and
internet platform.

"To date, treatment adherence has only been reported subjectively by
patients receiving growth hormone therapy. ECOS will objectively reveal the
adherence level of patients. The study will allow clinicians to identify
patients who adhere poorly to treatment, and consequently we hope to be able
to optimize the management and the response of an individual patient in the
long term," said Prof. Peter Davies, chairman of the ECOS Scientific
Steering Committee at The University of Queensland, Australia.

"Merck Serono's goal is to help children reach their full
height potential by offering innovative solutions. Investigators will be able
to capitalize on the built-in injection history memory of easypod(TM) to
accurately measure the level of adherence and its potential impact on
patients' growth outcomes while providing the medical community with
country-specific data that may benefit the clinical management of growth
hormone therapy," said Fereydoun Firouz, Head of the Global Business Unit,
Fertility and Endocrinology, at Merck Serono.

Patients aged between 2 and 18 years, without a fused growth
plate, and treated by Saizen(R) therapy using easypod(TM) are eligible to
participate. An assessment of patient adherence will be performed on regular
basis according to local practice. Yearly analyses of the data collected will
be published over the 5 years of patient follow-up.

ECOS study is not planned to be performed in the US.

About Growth Hormone Deficiency (GHD)

Growth hormone deficiency occurs when the pituitary gland in
the brain is unable to release or produce adequate amounts of growth hormone.
In children, growth hormone deficiency causes slow growth, and without
treatment, few will reach their full height potential as an adult.

It is estimated that the incidence of growth hormone
deficiency in children is between 1 in 4,000 and 1 in 10,000.

Non childhood related adult growth hormone deficiency can also
be a significant problem which affects 3 in 10.000 each year. It is
recognized as a specific clinical syndrome.

About Saizen(R) [somatropin (rDNA origin) for injection]

Saizen(R) and Saizen(R) Solution for Injection are
formulations of recombinant human growth hormone (GH).

Saizen(R) is currently registered in 79 countries (indications
vary according to countries) for the treatment of:

    - GH deficiency in children
    - GH deficiency in adult patients
    - Children born Small for Gestational Age (not registered for
      this indication in the US)
    - Turner's syndrome (not registered for this indication the US)
    - Growth failure in prepubertal children associated with chronic renal
      failure (not registered for this indication in the US)

Saizen(R) should not be used in patients with active
malignancy, diabetic retinopathy, or in Prader-Willi syndrome patients with
severe obesity or respiratory impairment.

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 33,600 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, Suisse, Media relations, Tel: +41-22-414-36-00

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