GENEVA, Switzerland, May 18 /PRNewswire/ -- Merck Serono, a division of Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, confirms its commitment to investing in the therapeutic area of fertility, after Merck KGaA informed earlier today the Oslo Stock Exchange of its withdrawal of the voluntary cash tender offer for MediCult A/S, a leader in Assisted Reproductive Technologies (ART), as the required share threshold was not reached in the set timeframe.

Merck Serono has a proud heritage of leadership in the field of fertility and will actively pursue opportunities that will contribute to bring further innovation to physicians and patients, and increase the success rate of fertility treatments, said Dr. Richard Douge, Executive Vice President Global Marketing at Merck Serono.

Merck Serono is the world leader in fertility treatments. The company's vision is to develop and provide innovative, easy-to-use products and devices, as well as patient care support services, to help infertile couples at every stage of the reproductive cycle: from follicular development to early pregnancy.

A pioneer in fertility treatments, Merck Serono is the only company to offer a full portfolio of fertility drugs for every stage of the reproductive cycle and recombinant versions of the three hormones needed to treat infertility: GONAL-f(R) FbM (follitropin alfa) to stimulate the ovaries and produce eggs; Luveris(R) (lutropin alfa), to stimulate follicular development in women who are profoundly LH deficient; Pergoveris(TM) (follitropin alfa/lutropin alfa) to stimulate follicular development in women with severe LH and FSH deficiency; Cetrotide(R) (cetrorelix acetate) to prevent a premature ovulation; Ovitrelle(R) (choriogonadotropin alfa), to help follicles mature and release eggs; and Crinone(R) (progesterone gel), to help establish and maintain a pregnancy. With a portfolio of highly effective drugs, Merck Serono offers physicians the ability to tailor treatments to individual patients.

About Merck Serono

Merck Serono is the division for innovative prescription pharmaceuticals of Merck, a global pharmaceutical and chemical group. Headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland, Merck Serono discovers, develops, manufactures and markets innovative small molecules and biopharmaceuticals to help patients with unmet medical needs. Its North American business operates in the United States and Canada as EMD 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 alpha), 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 all markets.

With an annual RD expenditure of around EUR 1bn, 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.

About Merck

Merck is a global pharmaceutical and chemical company with total revenues of EUR 7.6 billion in 2008, a history that began in 1668, and a future shaped by 32,700 employees in 60 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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