Merck Serono as Pioneer in Assisted Reproductive Treatments Takes Leading Role in Fertility Technologies Signing a Global Collaboration Agreement with Genea Biomedx

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DARMSTADT, Germany, May 28, 2015 /PRNewswire/ --

 

  • Global collaboration to extend the portfolio of Merck Serono, a leading company in fertility treatment, in the growing market of fertility technologies to support standardization and improve fertility outcomes 
  • Merck receives global marketing and commercialization rights for three key innovative technologies, as well as pipeline of future products 
  • Investing into innovation beyond drugs is currently seen as a key lever for improving outcomes 

Merck, a leading company for innovative and top-quality high-tech products in healthcare, life science and performance materials, today announced the global collaboration agreement with the fertility technologies expert Genea Biomedx, an Australian company, dedicated to advancing fertility science and helping couples create families. With this partnership, Merck Serono, the biopharmaceutical business of Merck, and global market leader in drugs for Assisted Reproductive Treatment (ART), receives global marketing and commercialization rights to Genea Biomedx's product portfolio. This comprises the innovative Gavi, Geri and Gems product lines which are expected to receive CE mark in Europe shortly, as well as a joint development pipeline.

     (Logo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20150526/747165-b )

Gavi will be the world's first fully automated vitrification instrument, focusing on lab processes with the aim of reducing potential errors and increasing efficiency in cryopreservation of embryos and in the future for oocytes (eggs). Geri is a benchtop incubator fitted with a time-lapse camera to capture images of embryos as they develop and individually controlled incubation chambers per patient to minimize disruptive events to the early-stage embryo. Gems is the latest generation of Genea's culture media allowing for high quality embryo cultivation.

The collaboration is part of the company's strategy to provide the best fertility solutions to its customers to increase success rates. With the global rights to these three product lines and future developments, Merck Serono is expanding its market position, offering key potentially outcome improving technologies to support standardization, automation and objectivity. To further strengthen this position, Merck Serono will closely collaborate with Genea Biomedx to jointly develop other innovative technology products and services, and have formed a development hub to pave the way for further improvements for the patient.

"As a pioneer in reproductive health, we are continuously seeking to extend our product portfolio to bring innovative science and services to the fertility community," explained Belén Garijo, Member of the Executive Board of Merck and CEO Healthcare. "There is significant need for improved technologies in fertility treatment, since the majority of issues in ART are beyond drug therapy. The key priority of our Fertility Technologies unit at Merck Serono is to advance our fertility portfolio beyond drugs and to enable innovation in technologies and services. Entering a global partnership with Genea will allow Merck to introduce innovative technologies in the ART market, further aiming to improve outcomes throughout the in vitro fertilization process. Merck Serono is dedicated to help patients realize their dream of creating a family."

"Advancing the science of fertility treatment to improve outcomes and success rates for patients worldwide is Genea's mission and we are excited that our agreement with Merck helps us continue to bring that aim to fruition," said Tomas Stojanov CEO of Genea. "The launch of the three products, Gems, Gavi and Geri, is just the beginning of a unique collaboration between our two companies which will deliver innovative, high-technology products and thinking to fertility clinics around the world."    

The collaboration showcases both companies' commitment to improve fertility treatment. Both Merck Serono and Genea Biomedx have a strong heritage in fertility treatment and will build on this expertise to invent and develop innovative fertility technologies. The collaboration is effective from May 1, 2015. Financial details of the agreement are not being disclosed.

Genea Biomedx  

Genea Biomedx creates and manufactures practical, accessible and precise fertility technologies that help standardise and automate fertility treatment. Its unique relationship with Genea Fertility means that Genea Biomedx is a manufacturer that truly understands the customers' perspective. As a result Genea Biomedx has developed the world's first automated vitrification instrument, and has other projects well advanced in the product pipeline.  

Gavi, Geri and Gems  

  • Gavi - will be the world's first automated vitrification instrument; Vitrification is a process used in IVF to preserve human egg cells (oocytes) or embryos by cooling them to deep sub-zero degrees. Approaching the process in an innovative way, Gavi uses an automated, standardized protocol aiming to provide consistent results in blastocyst vitrification.
  • Geri - a benchtop incubator with individually controlled incubation chambers per patient to minimize disruptive events to the early-stage embryo. It also incorporates a time-lapse camera to capture images of embryos as they develop.
  • Gems - the latest generation of Genea's culture media for embryo cultivation.

Merck Serono 

Merck Serono is the biopharmaceutical business of Merck. With headquarters in Darmstadt, Germany, Merck Serono offers leading brands in 150 countries to help patients with cancer, multiple sclerosis, infertility, endocrine and metabolic disorders as well as cardiovascular diseases. In the United States and Canada, EMD Serono operates as a separately incorporated subsidiary of Merck Serono.
Merck Serono discovers, develops, manufactures and markets prescription medicines of both chemical and biological origin in specialist indications. We have an enduring commitment to deliver novel therapies in our core focus areas of neurology, oncology, immuno-oncology and immunology.
For more information, please visit http://www.merckserono.com.

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Merck is a leading company for innovative and top-quality high-tech products in healthcare, life science and performance materials. The company has six businesses - Merck Serono, Consumer Health, Allergopharma, Biosimilars, Merck Millipore and Performance Materials - and generated sales of around € 11.3 billion in 2014. Around 39,000 Merck employees work in 66 countries to improve the quality of life for patients, to foster the success of customers and to help meet global challenges. Merck is the world's oldest pharmaceutical and chemical company - since 1668, the company has stood for innovation, business success and responsible entrepreneurship. Holding an approximately 70% interest, the founding family remains the majority owner of the company to this day. Merck, Darmstadt, Germany, holds the global rights to the Merck name and brand. The only exceptions are Canada and the United States, where the company operates as EMD Serono, EMD Millipore and EMD Performance Materials.

 

SOURCE Merck Serono