ROCKLAND, Mass., April 1, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- EMD Serono, the U.S. biopharmaceuticals subsidiary of Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, announced today the appointment of Frederick E. Munschauer to Vice President of Medical Affairs, Neurology and Immunology. In this capacity, he will lead the medical affairs activities for clinical, commercial and business development projects and collaborations for Rebif® (interferon beta-1a) as well as the company's Immunology and Neurology pipeline.
Dr. Munschauer joins EMD Serono from Biogen, bringing more than 30 years of knowledge in the area of neurology, specifically multiple sclerosis.
"Dr. Munschauer brings an exceptional level of expertise to our medical affairs team and we are confident that with his leadership will be able to deliver even stronger outcomes for patients," said Dr. Thorsten Eickenhorst, Chief Medical Officer, EMD Serono. "His contributions to the MS community since he began his career in neurology, combined with his deep understanding of the needs for physicians and payers in clinical medicine will bring added value to our ongoing neurology and immunology research and development efforts."
"EMD Serono has been a proven leader in the area of multiple sclerosis, and I look forward to contributing to their broader neurology and immunology efforts to bring innovative solutions to patients," Munschauer said.
Prior to joining EMD Serono, Dr. Munschauer served most recently as Chief Medical Advisor at Biogen Idec. During his tenure at Biogen Idec he also served as Head, US Medical Affairs and Head, Global Medical Affairs. Dr. Munschauer joined industry after a career in academic medicine where he was Professor and Chair of Neurology at the University of New York, Buffalo, and Director of the Jacobs Neurological Institute. In this capacity he oversaw the financial, clinical, and research activities of all aspects of neurology with specific centers for MS, stroke, movement disorders, cognitive disorders, epilepsy, sleep disorders, neuroimaging, and pediatric neurology. He also led multidisciplinary clinical trial operations conducting Phase I IV trials, established and oversaw training programs for medical students, residents, fellow, and post-doctoral students, and created a stroke and vascular disease center of clinical research excellence, including both acute and preventive interventions. Dr. Munschauer has also held leadership roles on the National Board of Directors of the National MS Society, the Consortium of MS Centers, and the NY State MS Consortium.
Dr. Munschauer holds a Medical Degree from McGill University, Montreal, Quebec, and completed an internship and residency in internal medicine and a residence in neurology at The Johns Hopkins Hospital, Maryland. He also completed a fellowship in neurological and neurosurgical intensive care at The National Hospital for Nervous Disease, London, UK. Additionally, Dr. Munschauer received a B.S.E., Electrical Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, from Duke University, Durham, NC a M.Sc., Mechanical Engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA.
As part of the global biopharmaceuticals business of Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, EMD Serono has ongoing MS clinical programs, including ATX-MS-1467, an investigational therapy for RRMS, and imilecleucel-T, an investigational therapy for Secondary Progressive MS (SPMS). (The company has an option agreement for the development and commercial licensing of imilecleucel-T.) In Discovery, its Immunology group will evaluate opportunities with the goal of advancing new immune-based therapies for MS and other immune diseases. EMD Serono continues to advance its clinical collaborations in neurology, with research collaborations with academia and other strategic partnerships to improve patient outcomes.
EMD Serono's well-established treatment for relapsing MS, Rebif® (interferon beta-1a), has been used by patients for more than a decade and is registered in more than 90 countries around the world. The company continues to advance its understanding of the clinical benefit of Rebif (interferon beta-1a) including real world evidence through ongoing and newly implemented Phase IV and investigator initiated studies. EMD Serono remains committed to the MS community by providing education and support to people living with relapsing MS, through our MS LifeLines program, as well as through our grants program which funds and supports promising advancements in MS.
About Rebif® (interferon beta-1a)
Rebif is used to treat relapsing forms of MS to decrease the frequency of relapses and delay the occurrence of some of the physical disability that is common in people with MS. Rebif is not approved for treatment of chronic progressive MS.
Rebif will not cure MS but it has been shown to decrease the number of flare-ups and slow the occurrence of some of the physical disability that is common in people with MS. Rebif can cause serious side effects, so before taking Rebif, patients should talk with their doctor about the possible benefits of Rebif and its possible side effects.
Potential serious side effects of Rebif include depression, liver problems, risk to pregnancy, allergic reactions and injection-site problems. Patients who have had an allergic reaction such as difficulty breathing, flushing or hives to another interferon beta or to human albumin should not take Rebif.
Before taking Rebif (interferon beta-1a), patients should tell their doctor if they have a history of depression, anxiety, trouble sleeping, liver disease, thyroid problems, blood cell count or bleeding problems, epilepsy, or are planning to become pregnant. Patients should tell their doctor about all medicines they take, including prescription and non-prescription medicines, vitamins and herbal supplements. Rebif and other medicines may affect each other causing serious side effects. Patients should talk to their doctor before taking any new medicines.
Possible side effects of Rebif include flu-like symptoms (fever, chills, sweating, muscle aches and tiredness), injection-site reactions, depression and anxiety, liver problems, abdominal pain, blood problems, thyroid problems and severe allergic reactions. Patients should let their doctor know if they have any of these symptoms or feel sad, tired, hot or cold, or experience hives, rashes, bruising, yellowing of the skin, or a change in body weight (gain or loss).
This information is not intended to replace discussions with a doctor. For additional information about Rebif, please consult the Prescribing Information and Medication Guide at www.rebif.com and talk to a health care professional. Information is also available at www.mslifelines.com or call toll-free 1-877-44-REBIF (1-877-447-3243). Rebif is available by prescription only.
About EMD Serono
EMD Serono, a subsidiary of Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, is a leading U.S. biopharmaceutical company focused exclusively on specialty care. For more than 40 years, EMD Serono has integrated cutting-edge science, innovative products and devices, and industry-leading patient support and access programs. EMD Serono has deep expertise in neurology, fertility and endocrinology, as well as a robust pipeline of potential therapies in neurology, oncology, immunology and immuno-oncology. Today, EMD Serono has more than 1,100 employees around the country with commercial, clinical and research operations based in the company's home state of Massachusetts.
For more information, please visit www.emdserono.com
About Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany
Merck KGaA of Darmstadt, Germany, is a leading company for innovative and top-quality high-tech products in healthcare, life science and performance materials. The company has six businesses Biopharmaceuticals, Consumer Health, Allergopharma, Biosimilars, Life Science and Performance Materials and generated sales of 11.3 billion in 2014. Around 39,000 employees work in 66 countries to improve the quality of life for patients, to foster the success of customers and to help meet global challenges. Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, is the world's oldest pharmaceutical and chemical company since 1668, the company has stood for innovation, business success and responsible entrepreneurship. Holding an approximately 70% interest, the founding family remains the majority owner of the company to this day. Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany holds the global rights to the Merck name and brand. The only exceptions are Canada and the United States, where the company operates as EMD Serono, EMD Millipore and EMD Performance Materials.