GENEVA, Switzerland, June 8, 2012 /PRNewswire/ --
Merck Serono, a division of Merck, Darmstadt, Germany, announced today the forthcoming introduction of the new injection device RebiSlide™ in Europe and Canada, followed by other countries. RebiSlide™ is a multidose manual injection pen for the self-administration of Rebif® (interferon beta-1a), a disease-modifying drug used to treat relapsing forms of multiple sclerosis (MS).
"RebiSlide™ is the latest addition to Merck Serono's range of injection devices for the self-administration of Rebif® to meet the needs of patients looking for a compact and multidose device," said Belén Garijo, Head of Global Operations at Merck Serono. "The introduction of RebiSlide™, alongside other innovative devices such as the electronic multidose device RebiSmart™ and the single-use pre-filled pen RebiDose™, underscores our commitment to continuous advancement in multiple sclerosis treatments, by offering patients different administration options to suit their individual needs."
RebiSlide™ is a manual multidose injection device for MS therapy and was designed to offer an alternative way of injection for patients with relapsing multiple sclerosis looking for a portable and multidose device. RebiSlide™ uses the multidose cartridges of Rebif® containing a week's supply of Rebif® therapy (three doses of 44 micrograms or three doses of 22 micrograms). The device contains a dose window, which allows users to select the dose of injection prescribed, including dose titration (8.8 micrograms or 22 micrograms).
RebiSlide™ is approved in the European Union, in Australia and in Canada. It was first launched in Hungary and further launches will follow in Italy, Greece and Canada in the next few weeks. In addition to RebiSlide™, Rebif® can be administered with the delivery devices RebiSmart™, RebiDose™ and Rebiject™ II or by manual injection using pre-filled syringes. These devices are not available in all countries.
Rebif® (interferon beta-1a) is a disease-modifying drug used to treat relapsing forms of multiple sclerosis (MS) and is similar to the interferon beta protein produced by the human body. The efficacy of Rebif® in chronic progressive MS has not been established. Interferons are thought to help reduce inflammation. The exact mechanism is unknown.
Rebif®, which was approved in Europe in 1998 and in the US in 2002, is registered in more than 90 countries worldwide. Rebif® has been proven to delay the progression of disability, reduce the frequency of relapses and reduce MRI lesion activity and area*. Rebif® can either be administrated with the RebiSmart™ electronic auto-injection device, or with the RebiDose™ single-use disposable pen, or the manual multidose injection pen RebiSlide™. Rebif® can also be administered with the autoinjector Rebiject™ II or by manual injection using ready-to-use pre-filled syringes. These injection devices are not available in all countries.
In January 2012, the European commission approved the extension of the indication of Rebif® in early multiple sclerosis. The extension of the indication of Rebif® has not been submitted in the United States.
Rebif® should be used with caution in patients with a history of depression, liver disease and seizures. Most commonly reported side effects are flu-like symptoms, injection site disorders, elevation of liver enzymes and blood cell abnormalities. Patients, especially those with depression, seizure disorders, or liver problems, should discuss treatment with Rebif® with their doctors.
* The exact correlation between MRI findings and the current or future clinical status of patients, including disability progression, is unknown.
About multiple sclerosis
Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a chronic, inflammatory condition of the central nervous system and is the most common, non-traumatic, disabling neurological disease in young adults. It is estimated that approximately two million people have MS worldwide. While symptoms can vary, the most common symptoms of MS include blurred vision, numbness or tingling in the limbs and problems with strength and coordination. The relapsing forms of MS are the most common.
About Merck Serono
Merck Serono is the biopharmaceutical division of Merck KGaA. With headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland, 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.
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 more than 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.
SOURCE Merck Serono S A