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03-31-2007, 05:59 AM
IMR International Limited, developers of e-communication and clinical information solutions, today announced that Merck Serono will partner with the Company to develop a new online interactive guide to psoriasis. The new resource will form part of the EMA (European Medical Association) sanctioned EPG Patient Direct, a new web service dedicated to providing patients and the general public in Europe with a credible source of independent health-related information. The Psoriasis Quick Guide will launch with EPG Patient Direct in June 2007 as part of a series of guides dealing with a broad range of medical conditions.

"We recognise that today's patients are faced with an overwhelming challenge in sourcing healthrelated information that is comprehensive, trustworthy and easy to understand" said Chris Cooper, Managing Director of IMR International Ltd. "By working with partners in healthcare such as Merck Serono, we are connecting patients and their carers with information and advice that is independent, authoritative and objective."

The Quick Guide will include background to psoriasis, its causes and symptoms, and what can be done to treat this often worrying and sometimes serous illness. The new Psoriasis Quick Guide will join other interactive guides to form part of the EPG Patient Direct interactive online knowledge 'library', a range of guides designed specifically for use by the general public. Other guides will focus on health topics such as Diabetes, Arthritis, Eczema, Fertility, Multiple Sclerosis and Meningitis.

"We recognize that psoriasis has a huge impact on patients' daily lives and hence there is a tremendous need for information" said Rajesh Gupta, Vice President for Dermatology at Merck Serono. "We hope that the online platform that is used for the Psoriasis Quick Guide will provide patients an easy way of searching for and finding materials and tools that will be useful for them to be able to cope better with psoriasis."

In addition to its 'Quick Guides', EPG Patient Direct will provide access to medical news, support groups and personal health tests. "Our aim is to provide a service that the general public can turn to as a trusted source for all of their health related research." said Michelle Kelly, Partnership Director for EPG Patient Direct. "We hope to see EPG Patient Direct quickly become a house-hold name across Europe as a 'one stop' medical website for patients."

The service will be funded through pharmaceutical industry sponsorship and educational grants.

About IMR International Limited

East Sussex, UK based IMR International Ltd is a private limited Company specialising in the delivery of e-communication and clinical information solutions. The Company's activities fall within three key areas of competency: Electronic Publishing, e-Marketing/Communications Solutions and Campaign Design. It also provides database analysis, market research (Healthcare) and market intelligence services.

About 'Merck Serono'

Merck Serono, a division of Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, is a global business focusing on innovative prescription pharmaceuticals with headquarters in Geneva. The division was established on January 5, 2007 following the acquisition of Serono S.A. (now Merck Serono S.A.) by Merck and the integration of the business with the former Merck Ethicals division. The entity has leading brands serving patients in the areas of Oncology (Erbitux®), Neurology (Rebif®), CardioMetabolic Care (Glucophage®, Concor®), Reproductive Health (Gonal-f®), Dermatology (Raptiva®) and other therapeutic areas. Merck Serono's research programs are focused on growing these businesses and on establishing new therapeutic areas, including autoimmune diseases.
http://www.serono.com

About 'Merck Serono S.A.'

Merck Serono S.A. (formerly Serono S.A.), whose shares are traded on the virt-x (SERO) and its American Depositary Shares are traded on the New York Stock Exchange (SRA), is the world leader in reproductive health, with Gonal-f®, Luveris® and Ovidrel®/Ovitrelle®. It has strong market positions in neurology, with Rebif®, as well as in metabolism and growth, with Saizen®, Serostim® and ZorbtiveTM. The company has recently entered the psoriasis area with Raptiva®. Merck Serono S.A. does not include the activities of the former Merck Ethicals division.