Video and Photo: EMD Serono Launches easypod(R), New Electronic Growth Hormone Injection...

Thu Dec 6, 2007 8:01am EST

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Video and Photo: EMD Serono Launches easypod(R), New Electronic Growth Hormone
Injection Device
Award-winning device designed for patient ease of use, reliability and

    ROCKLAND, Mass., Dec. 6 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- EMD Serono, Inc.
announced today the availability of easypod(R), the first of its kind
automated device in the growth hormone therapeutic area. easypod(R) was
developed for the administration of Saizen(R) [somatropin (rDNA origin) for
injection], the company's treatment for growth hormone deficiency. A 2007 Gold
Medal recipient of the Medical Design Excellence Awards(R), easypod(R) was
designed in conjunction with patients, caregivers and healthcare professionals
to answer the need for a device that provided simple everyday use while
monitoring patient adherence. On October 31, 2007, easypod(R) received
approval from the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and is now available
to patients through their healthcare providers.
    To view the Multimedia News Release, go to:
    "As a physician who treats children with growth hormone deficiency, I am
encouraged by the new technology in easypod(R)," said Henry Anhalt, D.O.,
FAAP, FACOP, FACE, CDE, Director of the Division of Pediatric Endocrinology
and Diabetes at Saint Barnabas Medical Center. "It is the first growth hormone
delivery device that allows healthcare professionals to preset their patient's
daily dose in advance and then monitor their compliance to the treatment
    Over seven hundred patients, caregivers and healthcare professionals were
surveyed for input on how to improve upon delivery systems for growth hormone
therapy during the development phase of easypod(R). One of the key features of
easypod(R) is preset dosing, which means patients no longer have to set their
dose each day. Another unique feature is the dose confirmation screen that
notifies patients when they have properly administered their treatment.
easypod(R) also logs the date and dose of each injection, allowing healthcare
professionals to monitor patient adherence.
    "We are proud to bring products like easypod(R) to market that utilize
breakthrough technology to provide patients and healthcare professionals with
devices that are simple to use," said Jim Hoyes, Chief Commercial Officer, EMD
Serono, Inc. "The collaboration and research used for the design of easypod(R)
allowed us to develop an innovative device that provides more real-time data
for physicians than ever before, meeting the unmet needs of patients and
    As with other EMD Serono growth hormone delivery deficiency devices,
easypod(R) was designed with patients in mind. easypod(R) has a sleek,
ergonomic shape and is similar in size to a juice box. The device also
features a hidden needle intended to help reduce patient anxiety.
    easypod(R) was the recipient of a 2007 Gold Medal from the Medical Design
Excellence Awards(R), the premier awards program for the medical technology
community. The Awards recognize the achievements of medical product
manufacturers who are responsible for the groundbreaking innovations that are
changing the face of healthcare. easypod(R) was recognized for its ergonomic
design as a self-care product.
    "Parents and patients are always looking for ways to make taking their
medicine and staying on therapy as convenient as possible," said Mary Andrews,
co-founder and CEO of the MAGIC Foundation. "It's a win for parents and
patients whenever there's a new product, like easypod(R), that helps with
these treatment goals."
    EMD Serono is supporting the introduction of easypod(R) with a
comprehensive training program intended to provide training for healthcare
professionals who specialize in the treatment of growth hormone deficiency.
Interested healthcare professionals can request a training session on the
setup, use and features of easypod(R) by contacting the company. In addition,
after an initial training by their healthcare professional, patients using
easypod(R) will have access to ongoing support through EMD Serono's
Connections for Growth(R) program, by calling 1-800-582-7989.
    easypod(R) is currently available in a number of European and Latin
American countries, as well as Australia and Canada and now the United States.
    easypod(R) is intended for use with Saizen(R) click.easy cartridges after
training from a healthcare provider. Refer to instructions for use on for more information. Infrequent injection site reactions
can occur. easypod(R) and Saizen(R) click.easy are available by prescription
only. Refer to for full prescribing information.
    About Saizen(R) [somatropin (rDNA origin) for injection]
    Saizen(R) is indicated for the treatment of children and adults with
growth hormone deficiency. Saizen(R) should not be used in patients with
active malignancy, diabetic retinopathy, or in Prader-Willi syndrome patients
with severe obesity or respiratory impairment.
    EMD Serono also offers the only needle-free drug delivery device for
growth hormone., exclusively for use with Saizen(R), lessens the
fear and anxiety that patients may experience with subcutaneous injections. is the first auto-injector pen with a hidden needle for growth
hormone in the US and allows the insertion of the needle and injection of
medication all in one step, with the simple click of a button.
    About Growth Hormone Deficiency
    Growth hormone deficiency occurs when the pituitary gland in the brain is
unable to release or produce adequate amounts of growth hormone. In children,
growth hormone deficiency causes slow growth, and without treatment, few will
reach their full height potential as an adult. It is estimated that the
incidence of growth hormone deficiency in children is between 1 in 4,000 and 1
in 10,000. For more information about growth hormone deficiency in children,
please visit
    Adult growth hormone deficiency can also be a significant problem. More
than 50,000 adults in the United States are growth hormone deficient, and
6,000 new cases are reported each year.
    About EMD Serono
    EMD Serono, Inc., headquartered in Rockland, Massachusetts, is an
affiliate of Merck KGaA in Darmstadt, Germany. EMD Serono is a leader in
fertility treatments, with Gonal-f(R) (follitropin alpha for injection),
Luveris(R) (lutropin alfa for injection) and Ovidrel(R) Prefilled Syringe
(choriogonadotropin alpha injection). The company has strong market positions
in neurodegenerative diseases, with Rebif(R) (interferon beta-1a), as well as
in endocrinology, with Saizen(R) (somatropin (rDNA origin) for injection),
Serostim(R) (somatropin (rDNA origin) for injection) and Zorbtive(TM)
(somatropin (rDNA origin) for injection).
    About Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany
    Merck is a global pharmaceutical and chemical company with sales of EUR
6.3 billion in 2006, a history that began in 1668, and a future shaped by
30,962 employees in 61 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.
    For more information, please visit or
SOURCE  EMD Serono, Inc.

Michele Baer of Baer Consulting Inc., +1-973-233-0044, office, or
+1-917-584-9293, cell,
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