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Update on Redeployment of Merck Serono Employees in Geneva

- Job prospects for more than 500 employees - or 40% of the total eneva-based employees - have been clarified as of today - Various redeployment initiatives are in progress and should continue to generate job opportunities during the coming weeks and months

GENEVA, September 28, 2012 /PRNewswire/ --Merck Serono today provided an update on the redeployment of its Geneva-based staff, 100 days after announcing its decision to close the site. As of today, job prospects have been clarified for more than 500 employees, or 40%of Geneva-based employees:

- 260 employees have accepted the offer of a transfer to another Merck Serono site: 170 within Switzerland and 90 abroad. In addition, 35 employees have yet
to decide on the transfer offer.
- 170 employees have found jobs elsewhere, including 16 employees through Merck Serono's program to support the creation of start-ups. - 80 employees are taking early retirement.

It is worth mentioning that the number of staff who already have found alternative employment may be even higher, as employees are under no obligation to report their employment status to Merck Serono.

"Job prospects for more than 500 of our Geneva employees, or 40% of Geneva-based employees, have been clarified as of today, and we hope that this will be the case for the majority of employees by the end of the year," explained François Naef, Chairman of the Board of Directors of Merck Serono S.A. "Obviously, we hope that more employees will accept the transfer offers that we have made and that the various ongoing contacts and initiatives will rapidly lead to new jobs for the others."

Since the announcement of the plan to close its Geneva site, Merck Serono has implemented several initiatives designed to identify redeployment opportunities for its staff, in particular:

- Facilitation of contacts between its employees and other companies.

- Discussions with industrial partners and with the local and regional authorities.
- A program to assist employees in the setting up of start-up companies (Entrepreneur Partnership Program), including the provision of a 30-million-euro fund;
- Participation in the task force set up by the Geneva Council of State.

First results from these various initiatives have been announced, notably:

- A job fair, bringing together over 40 companies operating in French-speaking Switzerland, was organized at the beginning of September 2012. Targeted job offers are also available on Merck Serono's intranet site.
- The Quintiles company, one of Merck Serono's partner companies in the field of biopharmaceutical services, has undertaken to make at least 100 job offers to
employees from the Merck Serono site in Geneva. As of today, Quintiles has offered 40 recruitment contracts to Merck Serono employees.
- Two companies, Prexton Therapeutics and Quartz Bio, have been set up as part of the Entrepreneur Partnership Program. Several other projects have reached an advanced stage of evaluation, and employees can continue to submit proposals for setting up companies up to September 30, 2012.

About Merck Serono

Merck Serono is the biopharmaceutical division of Merck KGaA. With headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland, Merck Serono offers leading brands in 150 countries to help patients with cancer, multiple sclerosis, infertility, endocrine and metabolic disorders as well as cardiovascular diseases. In the United States and Canada, EMD Serono operates as a separately incorporated subsidiary of Merck Serono. Merck Serono discovers, develops, manufactures and markets prescription medicinesof both chemical and biological origin in specialist indications. We have an enduring commitment to deliver novel therapies in our core focus areas of neurodegenerative diseases, oncology and rheumatology.

About Merck

Merck is a global pharmaceutical and chemical company with total revenues of EUR10.3 billion in 2011, a history that began in 1668, and a future shaped by more than 40,000 employees in 67 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 freeshareholders 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

Posted: September 2012