Serono Cited for Promoting Misleading Claims Against AVONEX®

Biogen, Inc. (NASDAQ/BGEN) said it was pleased with a favorable ruling by a Geneva court against Serono International SA. The Swiss court this week upheld its injunction prohibiting Serono from publicizing misleading claims against AVONEX (Interferon beta-1a), Biogen’s drug for the treatment of multiple sclerosis (MS).

The court determined Serono’s claims were false and misleading to doctors and people with MS and presented the prospect of causing irreparable harm. Serono is now prohibited from publicizing misleading claims of the superiority for Rebif®. Unfortunately, the seriousness of Serono’s misleading claims presented throughout Europe required Biogen to take legal action in the courts. Serono’s claims were based on data never submitted to, or reviewed by, appropriate regulatory authorities.

In related legal actions, a Lausanne, Switzerland court rejected Serono’s request for an injunction attempting to prevent Biogen from informing the public about Serono’s misleading marketing claims. And a court in Hamburg, Germany issued two separate injunctions against Serono: one prohibiting superiority claims based on the company’s comparative study; a second prohibiting promotional claims misrepresenting patients’ chances of remaining relapse-free on Rebif®.

Biogen, Inc., winner of the U.S. National Medal of Technology, is a biopharmaceutical
company principally engaged in discovering and developing drugs for human healthcare through genetic engineering. Headquartered in Cambridge, MA, the Company’s revenues are generated from international sales of AVONEX® (Interferon beta-1a) for treatment of relapsing forms of multiple sclerosis, and from the worldwide sales by licensees of a number of products, including alpha interferon and hepatitis B vaccines and diagnostic products. Biogen’s research and development activities are focused on novel products to treat inflammatory and autoimmune diseases, neurological diseases, cancer, fibrosis and congestive heart failure. The Company maintains active clinical research programs in protein therapeutics, small molecules, genomics and gene therapy. For copies of press releases and additional information about the Company, please consult Biogen’s Homepage on the World Wide Web at

Rebif® (Interferon beta-1a) is the registered trademark of Serono.