2010-05-26

Your Story, Your Voice, Your Achievements, Your Ideas ... This Is About Life, Real Life, Real MS


Geneva, May 26, 2010 (ots/PRNewswire) - Merck Serono, a division ofMerck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, announced the launch of Real MS todayon World MS Day 2010. Real MS, a global multiple sclerosis (MS)awareness campaign, aims to unite the voice of those affected by thedisease and demonstrate how life with MS can be lived positively.Comprising inspirational educational competitions throughout 2010 andinto 2011, the Real MS campaign will celebrate the stories, theachievements and the ideas of the global MS community, and help sharetheir vision for the future management of the disease.

MS affects approximately two million people around the world andis usually diagnosed between the ages of 20 and 40. Common symptomsof MS include unexplained constant fatigue, loss of sight, loss ofsensations, loss of balance, weakness and speech/swallowing andcognitive problems.

The unpredictability of MS means that people have to reinventtheir lives every day to overcome the daily struggles and remindersof their condition.

"A diagnosis of MS can be devastating at first," said Dr. RobertoGradnik, Head of Global Business Unit Neurodegenerative Diseases atMerck Serono. "The goal of Real MS is to change global perception ofthe disease and we hope that its positive message will inspire andempower the MS Community to find ways to live the lives they want."

The first element of the campaign, Real MS: Your Story, willlaunch in June 2010, along with the campaign website. This element ofthe campaign aims to use the power of short film to show the worldthat life with MS can be redefined in a positive and fulfilling way.Real MS: Your Story invites competition entrants to submit their ideafor a short film plot in the form of a script concept. The winningscript concept, to be determined by an international judging panel ofexperts and online voting through the Real MS campaign website, willbe developed into a 3-5 minute short film and distributed later in2010.

For more information on World MS Day, click here:http://www.worldmsday.org/home

About Real MS campaign

Real MS is an international campaign that aims to raise globalawareness of the disease and demonstrate how life with MS can andshould be better. Comprising inspirational educational competitionsthroughout 2010 and into 2011, the first campaign competition (RealMS: Your Story) aims to use the power of a short film to show theworld that life with MS can be redefined in a positive and fulfillingway. The Real MS: Your Story competition is not open to US residents.

About multiple sclerosis

Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a chronic, inflammatory condition ofthe central nervous system and is the most common, non-traumatic,disabling neurological disease in young adults. It is estimated thatapproximately two million people have MS worldwide. While symptomscan vary, the most common symptoms of MS include blurred vision,numbness or tingling in the limbs and problems with strength andcoordination. The relapsing forms of MS are the most common.

About Merck Serono

Merck Serono is the division for innovative prescriptionpharmaceuticals of Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, a globalpharmaceutical and chemical company. Headquartered in Geneva,Switzerland, Merck Serono discovers, develops, manufactures andmarkets innovative small molecules and biopharmaceuticals to helppatients with unmet medical needs. 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), interferonbeta-1a), infertility (Gonal-f(R), follitropin alpha), endocrine andmetabolic disorders (Saizen(R) and Serostim(R), somatropin),(Kuvan(R), sapropterin dihydrochloride) as well as cardiometabolicdiseases (Glucophage(R), metformin), (Concor(R), bisoprolol),(Euthyrox(R), levothyroxine). Not all products are available in allmarkets.

With an annual R&D expenditure of more than EUR 1 billion, MerckSerono is committed to growing its business in specialist-focusedtherapeutic areas including neurodegenerative diseases, oncology,fertility and endocrinology, as well as new areas potentially arisingout of research and development in autoimmune and inflammatorydiseases.

About Merck

Merck is a global pharmaceutical and chemical company with totalrevenues of EUR 7.7 billion in 2009, a history that began in 1668,and a future shaped by approximately 33,600 employees in 64countries. Its success is characterized by innovations fromentrepreneurial employees. Merck's operating activities come underthe umbrella of Merck KGaA, in which the Merck family holds anapproximately 70% interest and free shareholders own the remainingapproximately 30%. In 1917 the U.S. subsidiary Merck & Co. wasexpropriated and has been an independent company ever since.

For more information, please visit http://www.merckserono.com orhttp://www.merck.de

ots Originaltext: Merck SeronoIm Internet recherchierbar: http://www.presseportal.de

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

Merck Serono

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