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ARES-SERONO'S EUROPEAN PATENT RIGHTS CONFIRMED: COMPANY TO CONTINUE ENFORCING ITS PATENT

 ARES-SERONO'S EUROPEAN PATENT RIGHTS CONFIRMED:
 COMPANY TO CONTINUE ENFORCING ITS PATENT
 BOSTON/GENEVA, Sept. 15 /PRNewswire/ -- The District Court of The Hague yesterday ruled that Organon International B.V. is in breach of The Ares-Serono Group's European patent covering the production of recombinant fertility hormones, including follicle stimulating hormone (rFSH). However, Judge Van den Hul, president of the District Court of The Hague, found that, although violating the Ares-Serono patent, Organon's current activities for the development of rFSH are of an experimental nature and that the company, at this stage, cannot be ordered to stop these activities.
 The judge's decision was based on the fact that Organon is currently far from marketing the product. Further, the judge considered that Ares-Serono's interest in an injunction at this time should be weighted against the capacity of Organon to eventually pay damages to Ares- Serono.
 "We are pleased that the judge's statement clearly indicates that arguments put forward against Ares-Serono's patent were not convincing. This reconfirms the validity of our patent," said Mario Vannini, corporate vice president of R&D for The Ares-Serono Group.
 On Aug. 14, Ares-Serono filed suit against Organon for infringement of its European patent rights covering production of recombinant fertility hormones (gonadotropins), including follicle stimulating hormone (rFSH). FSH is a human fertility hormone prescribed to stimulate ovulation in infertile women.
 "The Ares-Serono Group will continue to enforce its rights through legal action against Organon until the company ceases all activities that constitute patent infringement," said Vannini.
 Ares-Serono's existing patents covering recombinant gonadotropins were granted by the European Patent Office in Munich on Aug. 12, 1992 (No. 160,699) and the U.S. Patent Office on June 20, 1989 (No. 4,840,896) and May 8, 1990 (No. 4,923,805). Further, on Aug. 17, 1992, the European Patent Office issued a notice of allowance regarding a second patent which also relates to the production of recombinant follicle stimulating hormone.
 Ares-Serono's recombinant FSH, Gonal-F(R), is currently in Phase III clinical trials in Europe and the United States. To date, more than 20 pregnancies were obtained during these Phase III clinical trials.
 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. Acknowledged as the world leader in infertility treatment, Ares-Serono recorded sales of US $751.1 million in 1991. The Group 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 major Swiss stock exchanges.
 -0- 9/15/92
 /CONTACT: Gina Cella of Ares-Serono, 617-982-9000, ext. 5251/ CO: Ares-Serono Group; Organon International B.V. ST: Massachusetts IN: MTC SU:


CN -- NE008 -- 9713 09/15/92 14:46 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Sep 15, 1992
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