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Merck Eprova AG Highlighted For Inventing Metafolin(R) With The Frost & Sullivan Product Differentiation Innovation Award Of The Year


1/9/2007 9:57:31 AM

SCHAFFHAUSEN, Switzerland, January 9 /PRNewswire/ -- Frost & Sullivan presents the Product Differentiation Innovation Award of the Year to Merck Eprova AG as recognition for its significant contribution to the vitamin B market. This award is presented each year to a company that has best demonstrated the ability to develop advanced products with more innovative capabilities than competing vendors and products. By inventing Metafolin(R), a stable form of the naturally occurring form of folate, Merck Eprova can today offer a unique ingredient for food supplements and dietetic foods.

"The distinctive product differentiation strategy undertaken by Merck Eprova has greatly helped improve the potential for using folates in all application sectors", notes Frost & Sullivan Head Analyst R. Nithya, "Metafolin offers numerous benefits over folic acid supplementation and is definitely a value-addition to the folate market."

Metafolin(R) (Calcium L-Methylfolate) belongs to the group of folate vitamins which the human body must obtain from the diet. At present, folic acid is typically used as a source of folate for food supplements and vitamin-fortified foods. However, folic acid is an unnatural form of folate. It must first be metabolised by the human body before it can exert its vitamin function. In contrast, Merck Eprova's Metafolin(R) can directly be used by the body without further metabolic transformation.

"Food is the major source for folates. However, in a large part of the population folate intake with food is insufficient. An adequate intake of folates is essential for the prevention of many disorders including anaemia, neural tube defects, various forms of cardiovascular diseases, Alzheimer's disease, and depression," commented Dr. Rudolf Moser, Scientific Director of Merck Eprova AG.

Metafolin(R) has been used in a range of food supplements and medical foods in the U.S. since 2001. In 2006, Merck Eprova AG introduced Metafolin(R) in the EU.

"Metafolin(R) is a proprietary folate with excellent bioavailability. We believe Metafolin(R) is a valuable tool for our customers enabling them to differentiate in highly competitive markets," explained Roger Weibel, Head of Product Management of Merck Eprova AG. "Our customers were able to leapfrog their competitors by introducing Metafolin(R) in their products: Cerefolin(R), Deplin(R), Metanx(R), Prenate Elite(TM) (all marketed in the U.S.) or "Femibion(R) 800 Folsaure plus Metafolin(R)" (marketed in Germany by Merck Selbstmedikation GmbH) proved the ability for sustained value creation enforced by Metafolin(R)."

Merck Eprova AG is a wholly owned subsidiary of Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, and is the largest producer of specialty folates for oral and parenteral pharmaceutical applications and nutritional supplements. Located in Schaffhausen, Switzerland, the company is a centre of excellence for research, development, production and marketing of pure and stable forms of folate derivatives.

Contact: Vera Katz Phone: +41-(0)-52-630-7322 E-mail: vera.katz@eprova.comhttp://www.eprova.comhttp://www.metafolin.com Invented by nature, Optimized by Merck Eprova AG, Switzerland About EMD Chemicals

EMD Chemicals Inc. provides specialty chemicals for pharmaceutical, biotech, cosmetic, automotive, plastics, electronics and other industrial applications. EMD Chemicals Inc. is the U.S. subsidiary of Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany. Merck KGaA is a global pharmaceutical and chemical company with sales of EUR 5.9 billion in 2005, a history that began in 1668, and a future shaped by 30,158 employees in 56 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 a 73% interest and free shareholders own the remaining 27%. In 1917 the U.S. subsidiary Merck & Co. was expropriated and has been an independent company ever since.

About Merck KGaA

Merck is a global pharmaceutical and chemical company with sales of EUR 5.9 billion in 2005, a history that began in 1668, and a future shaped by 30,158 employees in 56 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 a 73% interest and free shareholders own the remaining 27%. In 1917 the U.S. subsidiary Merck & Co. was expropriated and has been an independent company ever since.

Frost & Sullivan

CONTACT: Contact: Vera Katz, Phone: +41-(0)-52-630-7322, E-mail:vera.katz@eprova.com



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