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Merck Serono Executives Donate Time to Charity to Benefit Wateraid International

GENEVA, December 4, 2012 /PRNewswire/ --

Charity auction will give individuals from life sciences industry opportunity to bid for private lunch with senior executives from biopharma

Merck Serono, a division of Merck, Darmstadt, Germany, is pleased to participate in a charity auction, led by Alacrita Consulting, to benefit Wateraid International. The auction will give individuals from the life sciences industry the unique opportunity to bid for a two-hour private lunch with senior executives from the pharmaceutical industry, including three from Merck Serono.

WaterAid International invests in transforming the lives of people in the world's poorest countries by improving access to safe water and sanitation.

"As a leader in biopharma, we are inherently passionate about helping people in need," says Stefan Oschmann, CEO of Merck Serono and Executive Board Member of Merck. "Corporate responsibility is engrained in our culture and our values, with our most senior executives leading by example. We are proud to be able to give time-a truly precious resource-to an effort like Wateraid International."

The executives from Merck Serono who are participating in the auction (offering a combined lunch with all three present) are:

  • Belen Garijo, Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer
  • Susan Jane Herbert, Executive Vice President and Head of Global Business Development and Strategy
  • Annalisa Jenkins, Executive Vice President and Head of Global Drug Development & Medical

The charity auction will take place online at the following web address:

Bidding will be open from December 3-13, 2012. Lunch with the three Merck Serono executives will take place at a mutually agreed upon time and location in 2013.

Participation in this charitable endeavor is a strong reflection of Merck Serono's commitment to corporate responsibility. As an example, in 2007, Merck Serono made a commitment to donate 200 million tablets of Cesol® 600 containing the active ingredient praziquantel to the World Health Organization, for distribution to primarily African school children. This was intended to treat 27 million children for schistosomiasis in the most severely affected countries in Africa. The project was originally scheduled to end in 2017, but Merck Serono now intends to continue its efforts to fight schistosomiasis indefinitely. The company also plans to increase its annual donation of tablets containing the active ingredient praziquantel from 25 million to 250 million in the medium term, with a value of approximately $23 million per year. Schistosomiasis, a disease caused by parasitic flat worms which affects children in particular, is the second most common tropical disease in Africa after malaria. Every year, around 200,000 people die of this insidious disease.

About Merck Serono

Merck Serono is the biopharmaceutical division of Merck KGaA. 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 neurodegenerative diseases, oncology and rheumatology.

About Merck

Merck is a global pharmaceutical and chemical company with total revenues of €10.3 billion in 2011, a history that began in 1668, and a future shaped by approx. 40,000 employees in 67 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.

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