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ROCKLAND, Mass., Sept. 2, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- EMD Serono, Inc., a subsidiary of Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, announced today that Drew Young has joined the company as Senior Vice President, Neurology and Immunology. In this capacity, he will be responsible for leading the strategic direction of the U.S. Neurology and Immunology franchise, including future products.
Bringing more than 20 years of experience leading global and U.S. marketing and sales efforts at pharmaceutical and biotech companies, Mr. Young comes to EMD Serono from Biogen Idec, Inc., where he was the Marketing Lead of the interferon franchise for the company's multiple sclerosis (MS) business.
"Drew is a proven commercial leader and a key addition to EMD Serono's strengthened leadership team," said Gary Zieziula, Chief Commercial Officer of EMD Serono. "His knowledge and experience in MS and proven track record of commercial success, will add to our organization's continued drive to innovate on behalf of the MS patient community."
EMD Serono's neurology franchise is led by Rebif® (interferon beta-1a) for the treatment of relapsing MS. Rebif is a high dose, high frequency interferon that has been proven superior to a low dose, low frequency interferon (Avonex) in a head-to-head clinical trial. Patients treated with REBIF 44 mcg three times per week were more likely to remain relapse-free at 24 and 48 weeks than were patients treated with AVONEX 30 mcg once per week. Rebif offers robust and compelling efficacy, and a well established safety profile supported by more than 20 years of clinical trial and patient experience. Since its launch in the U.S., more than 124,000 patients have chosen Rebif to treat their relapsing MS. EMD Serono has also offered support to the MS community for more than 10 years through MS LifeLines, a service that provides education, reimbursement and support to people living with MS.
Amongst other roles, Mr. Young has worked with Bristol-Myers Squibb Pharmaceutical Group (BMS) in both Canada and the U.S., where he held numerous sales and marketing roles of increasing responsibility, including Northeast Regional Sales Director for the company's cardiovascular/metabolic portfolio, U.S. Brand Lead for its hypertension portfolio and Global Brand Lead for a pre-launch diabetes product. Mr. Young has also held senior sales and marketing positions at Schering Plough Canada and Novartis Pharmaceuticals Canada.
Mr. Young received his bachelor's degree in Economics from McGill University in Montreal, Canada, where he also received the Scarlet Key Award for outstanding student leadership.
About Rebif® (interferon beta-1a)
Rebif is used to treat relapsing forms of MS to decrease the frequency of relapses and delay the occurrence of some of the physical disability that is common in people with MS. Rebif is not approved for treatment of chronic progressive MS.
Rebif will not cure MS but it has been shown to decrease the number of flare-ups and slow the occurrence of some of the physical disability that is common in people with MS. Rebif can cause serious side effects, so before taking Rebif, patients should talk with their doctor about the possible benefits of Rebif and its possible side effects.
Potential serious side effects of Rebif include depression, liver problems, risk to pregnancy, allergic reactions and injection-site problems. Patients who have had an allergic reaction such as difficulty breathing, flushing or hives to another interferon beta or to human albumin should not take Rebif.
Before taking Rebif (interferon beta-1a), patients should tell their doctor if they have a history of depression, anxiety, trouble sleeping, liver disease, thyroid problems, blood cell count or bleeding problems, epilepsy, or are planning to become pregnant. Patients should tell their doctor about all medicines they take, including prescription and non-prescription medicines, vitamins and herbal supplements. Rebif and other medicines may affect each other causing serious side effects. Patients should talk to their doctor before taking any new medicines.
Possible side effects of Rebif include flu-like symptoms (fever, chills, sweating, muscle aches and tiredness), injection-site reactions, depression and anxiety, liver problems, abdominal pain, blood problems, thyroid problems and severe allergic reactions. Injection site reactions, hepatic function disorders, and leukopenia were observed with greater frequency with Rebif® 44 mcg three times per week sc compared to the Avonex®.
This information is not intended to replace discussions with a doctor. For additional information about Rebif, please consult the Prescribing Information and Medication Guide at www.rebif.com and talk to a health care professional. Information is also available at www.mslifelines.com or call toll-free 1-877-44-REBIF (1-877-447-3243). Rebif is available by prescription only.
About EMD Serono, Inc.
EMD Serono, Inc., a subsidiary of Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, is a leading US biopharmaceutical company focused exclusively on specialty care. For more than 40 years, EMD Serono has integrated cutting-edge science, innovative products and devices, and industry-leading patient support and access programs. EMD Serono has deep expertise in neurology, fertility and endocrinology, as well as a robust pipeline of potential therapies in neurology, oncology, immunology and immuno-oncology. Today, EMD Serono has more than 1,100 employees around the country with commercial, clinical and research operations based in the company's home state of Massachusetts.
For more information, please visit www.emdserono.com
About Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany
Merck KGaA of Darmstadt, Germany, is a leading company for innovative and top-quality high-tech products in the pharmaceutical and chemical sectors. Its subsidiaries in Canada and the United States operate under the umbrella brand EMD. Around 38,000 employees work in 66 countries to improve the quality of life for patients, to further the success of customers and to help meet global challenges. The company generated total revenues of 11.1 billion in 2013 with its four divisions: Biopharmaceuticals, Consumer Health, Performance Materials and Life Science Tools. Merck KGaA of Darmstadt, Germany is the world's oldest pharmaceutical and chemical company since 1668, the name has stood for innovation, business success and responsible entrepreneurship. Holding an approximately 70 percent interest, the founding family remains the majority owner of the company to this day.
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SOURCE EMD Serono