Merck Serono launches growth hormone injection device

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Merck Serono has announced the launch of a unique growth hormone injection device, easypod, for the once-daily administration of Saizen (somatropin), the company's recombinant growth hormone deficiency therapy. easypod is the first of its kind in this therapeutic area and was designed to improve patients' ease of daily use, reliability and convenience.

It has been developed in conjunction with patients and healthcare professionals and as a result has been specifically designed to meet their needs and simplify patients' daily treatment.

Dr Jovanna Dahlgren, Assistant Professor, Queen Silvia's Children's Hospital, Gothenburg, Sweden, said: "We are extremely encouraged by the response to easypod from our young patients and their parents, as well as from nurses and physicians. It has been extremely well received, bringing additional benefits to the often sensitive task of administering daily therapy to children and young adults and supporting their adherence to that therapy. Above all, this device is easy to use and reliable."

Hans Christian Rohde, current Head of Global Therapeutic Area, Endocrinology, Merck Serono, commented: "This breakthrough technology reaffirms our commitment to innovation in metabolic diseases, especially in growth hormone deficiencies where compliance is a major limitation to treatment success. This is a significant advance in our patient drug device portfolio in this therapeutic area that will support our efforts to improve patient treatment and will distinguish us from existing injection devices."

easypod is used in three simple key steps and delivers one daily injection subcutaneously to children and adults, designed to minimize discomfort and pain. The device enables healthcare professionals to pre-set dosing levels, reducing the possibility of dose miscalculation. No daily dose adjustment is required by the patient, and the injected dose is confirmed after delivery, giving the patients and their carers confidence in administration. The device also records the number of doses administered, allowing a physician to monitor patient compliance to therapy.

easypod has been approved in Europe and is already available in Sweden, Norway, Finland, Canada, Australia, Italy and Germany, where it has been met with an extremely positive response from patients and healthcare professionals alike. January 2007 onwards will see the roll out of the device in other regions around the world.

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