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SERONO LABORATORIES, INC. FILES SUIT AGAINST ORGANON INTERNATIONAL FOR PATENT INFRINGEMENT

 SERONO LABORATORIES, INC. FILES SUIT AGAINST ORGANON INTERNATIONAL
 FOR PATENT INFRINGEMENT
 NORWELL, Mass., Aug. 17 /PRNewswire/ -- Serono Laboratories, Inc., the U.S. pharmaceutical subsidiary of Ares-Serono of Switzerland, filed suit in United States District Court for the District of Massachusetts on Friday, Aug. 14, against Organon International B.V., a subsidiary of the Akzo Group of The Netherlands, citing Organon's infringement of Ares-Serono's patents which cover recombinant fertility hormones (gonadotropins), including follicle stimulating hormone (rFSH). FSH is a human fertility hormone prescribed to stimulate ovulation in women who are infertile.
 The suit claims that Organon has infringed upon the patent for the production of recombinant gonadotropins, including FSH, which was awarded by the U.S. Patent Office on May 8, 1990 (No. 4,923,805). In the complaint, Ares-Serono further claims that Organon is in violation of Serono's patent through activities in the United States and abroad related to the development of a recombinant FSH product and other recombinant gonadotropins "including products and methods that infringe Ares-Serono's United States patents."
 In a separate legal action in The Netherlands, Ares-Serono also filed, the same day, a suit for summary injunction citing Organon's manufacture of recombinant FSH in The Netherlands and current large- scale clinical trials with rFSH in Holland and other countries as inescapably infringing upon its patents. Ares-Serono was granted a European patent (No. 160,699) on Aug. 12, 1992, by the European Patent Office on its recombinant gonadotropin technology. A hearing has been scheduled on this action for Sept. 7, 1992, in The Hague.
 "We have asked Organon, via letter, to voluntarily comply with the patent laws protecting Ares-Serono's recombinant gonadotropins," said Fabio Bertarelli, chief executive officer of The Ares-Serono Group. "We sincerely hope that the infringement will be ended voluntarily without the need for further legal action, but we are prepared to see this through to the end, if necessary."
 In calling for the enforcement of its patent rights, Ares-Serono has requested that Organon cease all activities that constitute patent infringement with relation to rFSH, including a ban on research, testing and production to make, use or sell rFSH.
 Ares-Serono's own recombinant follicle stimulating hormone, Gonal-F, is currently in phase III clinical trials in Europe and the United States after having undergone all the necessary pre-clinical testing, including safety, required by the relevant health and regulatory authorities. As a result, Ares-Serono has obtained an IND in the United States, a CTX in the United Kingdom and the appropriate regulatory approvals in Belgium, France, Spain and Sweden.
 To date, more than 20 pregnancies have been obtained during these phase III clinical trials. Phase III clinical trials represent the final phase of testing before the study results are submitted for marketing approval. In addition, Ares-Serono has obtained regulatory authorization for clinical trials in Argentina, Australia, Denmark, Germany, Italy and Japan.
 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's leader in infertility treatment, Ares-Serono recorded sales of $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- 8/17/92
 /CONTACT: Gina Cella of Ares-Serono, 617-982-9000 ext. 251 CO: Serono Laboratories Inc., Ares-Serono ST: Massachusetts, Switzerland, Canada IN: MTC SU:


CN -- NE009 -- 0503 08/17/92 12:16 EDT
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Date:Aug 17, 1992
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