Merck Serono Launches UniteMS.net - A Pioneering Social Network and Online Resource for the Multiple Sclerosis CommunityBy Merck Serono S A, PRNE
Wednesday, February 9, 2011
Company Strives to Change the way Pharmaceutical Companies Interact With the Communities They Serve
GENEVA, February 10, 2011 - Merck Serono, a division of Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany,
today announced the launch of UniteMS.net, a groundbreaking international
social network designed specifically for people living with and affected by
multiple sclerosis (MS) around the world. UniteMS is intended to offer a
digital venue for the MS community to empower themselves through best in
class information, gain inspiration from worldwide stories of hope, and
explore a trusted environment with the most and easiest avenues to
communicate with peers.
UniteMS features information from reliable sources about
living with MS, MS symptoms, diagnosis, and treatment, along with feature
articles from leaders in the MS community and expert commentary from
healthcare professionals. Users of UniteMS will be able to create their own
profile, network with other people living with the disease, and engage in
online conversations with an international MS community. UniteMS allows
participants to rate and offer feedback on content, ask questions to experts,
contribute blog posts and most importantly, share their experiences about
living with MS.
UniteMS is a unique international social network that makes all of these
features and services available to the entire MS community, without excluding
anyone based on treatment choice. Merck Serono understands that in today's
environment, a pharmaceutical company should go even beyond offering
therapies to treat or cure diseases. Acknowledging the importance of social
networking in a person's journey with MS, Merck Serono is committed to
providing a venue for these conversations and interactions.
"Merck Serono is dedicated to constantly and effectively
contributing to the well-being of the communities we serve," said Dr. Roberto
Gradnik, Executive Vice President for Neurodegenerative Diseases at Merck
Serono. "As the MS community continues to look to social networks to stay
informed and connected, we see it as our responsibility to provide a vehicle
that helps them do so more efficiently than ever."
UniteMS follows a code of conduct based on respect, honesty,
trust, integrity and responsibility, all of which has been established
through the UniteMS Manifesto, a declaration of the company's principles and
intentions as it enters the social network world. The manifesto constitutes a
living document that is intended to evolve with the development of new media
technologies and the enactment of new laws and regulations.
While the international version of UniteMS is now available, a
growing number of local community sites will become available for individual
countries, spearheaded by The Netherlands and Greece launching in Q2. UniteMS
is not intended for use by residents of the United States, United Kingdom and
Both the global and local websites for UniteMS will allow
those living with and affected by the disease to reflect and share their
honest opinions, findings, beliefs or experiences, as well as access thought
leaders and experts in the field of MS.
"UniteMS is a truly revolutionary platform that offers
opportunities for learning and interaction never before seen among the MS
community," said Mary Baker, President, European Federation of Neurological
Associations (EFNA). "Behind every MS diagnosis is a human story that others
may be able to learn from or take comfort in. We applaud Merck Serono for
taking such a groundbreaking step to allow these stories to be heard."
About multiple sclerosis
Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a chronic, inflammatory condition
of the central nervous system and is the most common, non-traumatic,
disabling neurological disease in young adults. It is estimated that
approximately two million people have 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
Merck Serono is the division for innovative prescription
pharmaceuticals of Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, a global pharmaceutical
and chemical company. Headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland, Merck Serono
discovers, develops, manufactures and markets innovative small molecules and
biopharmaceuticals to help patients with unmet medical needs. In the United
States and Canada, EMD Serono operates as a separately incorporated affiliate
of Merck Serono.
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
With an annual R&D expenditure of more than EUR 1 billion,
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 autoimmune and inflammatory diseases.
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 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 www.merckserono.com
Merck Serono S.A. - Geneva, 9 Chemin des Mines, 1202 Genève, Suisse, Media relations, Tel: +41-22-414-36-00
Tags: February 10, Geneva, Merck Serono S A, Switzerland