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PATENT SUITS ON RECOMBINANT FERTILITY HORMONE: ARES-SERONO FILES NEW SUIT IN EUROPE/POSITIVE RESULT IN THE UNITED STATES

 BOSTON and GENEVA, Switzerland, April 28 /PRNewswire/ -- The Ares- Serono Group announced today that it is appealing a decision handed down earlier this month by the Court of Appeal in The Hague. The court refused to grant the company a summary injunction against Organon International B.V. for infringement of its original patent (No. 160,699) for recombinant follicle stimulating hormone (r-FSH) granted European Patent Office on Aug. 12, 1992.
 The Court did not rule on the validity of the patent and, therefore, its judgment does not alter Ares-Serono's strong patent position.
 According to Ares-Serono attorneys, the judgment rendered in summary proceedings in The Hague violates Netherlands and European patent law, as the court did not correctly lay down the subject-matter of the European patent. Furthermore, the court did not adequately assess the scope of protection of Ares-Serono's patent.
 "Ares-Serono will continue to mercilessly enforce its patent rights through legal actions in Europe, Japan and the United States until such time that Organon stops all activities that infringe the company's patents," said Hans Thierstein, chairman of the board of The Ares-Serono Group.
 Ares-Serono's patent position was further strengthened by a second patent (No. 211,894) on recombinant follicle stimulating hormone (r-FSH) granted by the European Patent Office on March 24, 1993.
 In the United States, similar litigation was initiated last year against Organon for infringement of Ares-Serono's patents on r-FSH (Nos. 4,923,805 and 5,156,957) granted by the U.S. patent office on May 8, 1990 and October 20, 1992, respectively. In that procedure, Organon indicated that it had withdrawn or destroyed the r-FSH and r-FSH-related biologic material it then had in the United States and was no longer "engaged in any additional activities relating to the importation, manufacture, use or sale of r-FSH or host cells to produce r-FSH in the U.S."
 Ares-Serono's own recombinant follicle stimulating hormone, Gonal-F(R), is currently in the last clinical development stage in Europe and the United States. To date, several births of healthy babies have been obtained during these Phase III clinical trials.
 Follicle stimulating hormone is a human fertility hormone used in the treatment of female and male infertility. It is also prescribed in conjunction with assisted reproduction techniques treatment cycles such as in-vitro fertilization (IVF).
 The Ares-Serono Group is a leading Swiss developer and marketer of pharmaceutical and diagnostic products with executive headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland and operating headquarters in Boston. World leader in the treatment of infertility, Ares-Serono has been committed to research and innovation in this field for almost 40 years. In 1992, the group recorded sales of $854.5 million. Ares-Serono operates subsidiaries and manufacturing facilities in more than 20 countries. Shares of Ares-Serono S.A., the parent company of the group, are traded on the Swiss stock exchanges.
 -0- 4/28/93
 /CONTACT: Gina Cella of Ares-Serono Group, 617-982-9000/


CO: Ares-Serono Group ST: Massachusetts IN: MTC SU:

CH -- NE007 -- 1869 04/28/93 10:03 EDT
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Date:Apr 28, 1993
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