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Home Industry News Merck Serono pledges support for Michael J Fox Foundation

Merck Serono pledges support for Michael J Fox Foundation

14th December 2007

Merck Serono has announced that it is to fund a $2 million (979,000 pounds) initiative for research into therapies to alleviate Parkinson’s disease-related cognitive dysfunction and mood disorders.

The foundation’s interim chief executive Katie Hood welcomed the funding and illustrated that patients often saw the cognitive and mood-related symptoms of Parkinson’s disease (PD) – including depression and anxiety – as some of the most disabling aspects.

She added that these symptoms often affected patients early on in the disease and did not respond to dopamine replacement therapy.

Ms Hood stated the foundation’s hope that the Cognitive Deficits and Mood Disorders in Parkinson’s Disease initiative would “invigorate” research and therapeutic development in the area.

Elmar Schnee, Merck’s executive board member for pharmaceuticals, confirmed that Merck Serono recognised the urgent need for therapies to alleviate mood disorders and cognitive dysfunction in PD.

“We look forward to supporting the Michael J Fox Foundation in pursuit of effective treatments for these under-addressed aspects of Parkinson’s disease,” he added.

Earlier this week, Merck Serono and ZymoGenetics announced that a new phase II/III clinical trial will be launched investigating the safety and efficacy of atacicept in patients with lupus nephritis, a severe form of systemic lupus erythematosus.

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