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SYS-CON MEDIA Authors: Liz McMillan, Esmeralda Swartz, Hovhannes Avoyan, Elizabeth White, Adrian Bridgwater

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Merck Serono Announces the Creation of Ondaco, the Fifth Company Stemming From its Entrepreneur Partnership Program

GENEVA, January 23, 2013 /PRNewswire/ --

With an experienced team of sixteen employees, Ondaco will manage IT support services and application development for all Merck Serono sites based in the Vaud and Geneva cantons in Switzerland

Merck Serono, a division of Merck, Darmstadt, Germany, announced today the formation of Ondaco Sàrl., an Information Technology (IT) consulting and services company created through the Merck Serono Entrepreneur Partnership Program (EPP). Merck Serono will become one of Ondaco's main clients as Ondaco will run IT support operations for all the Merck Serono sites in the Vaud and Geneva cantons: Coinsins, Eysins, Aubonne, Corsier-sur-Vevey and Geneva (until the closure of the site), for a period of at least twelve months. Services provided by Ondaco for Merck Serono will include on-site IT support, application development and project support, for a total value of over € 2 million.

"Merck Serono welcomes the creation of Ondaco, which enables sixteen employees and contractors currently working for Merck Serono to find a new position, while allowing for a smooth transition of our current IT support and program services in all our locations in the Lake Geneva area," said Frédéric Wohlwend, Group Chief Information Officer of Merck. "To be cost-efficient, corporate IT organizations can no longer develop and maintain all services internally. We believe that strong partnerships with a selected pool of external large-scale suppliers and smaller expert-focused partners like Ondaco are a key success factor to maintain business continuity, while we focus our internal resources to deliver innovative IT solutions for the whole Merck group," he added.

Founded by Marco Piermartiri, a former contractor at Merck Serono, Ondaco will start operating in January 2013. Along with Merck Serono's service agreements, Ondaco will offer a range of IT services to other corporations including consulting services, project management, service management, as well as support and maintenance services. Ondaco's team will include seasoned consultants, experts and technicians with extensive experience across industries.

"Starting an IT service business with the support of such an important, yet familiar key client brings a real advantage for Ondaco's early days as it enables us to ensure a steady business activity, while expanding our services to other clients," said Marco Piermartiri, founder and CEO of Ondaco. "Ondaco's ambition is to become a preferred business partner for other companies in the Geneva Lake area by offering personalized services and building trust with customers through effective solutions and committed teams."

Ondaco is the fifth company to be created through Merck Serono's EPP initiative, after Prexton Therapeutics, Quartz Bio, Asceneuron and TQM Insight. The EPP was launched by Merck Serono following the decision to close the Merck Serono Geneva site, in order to limit the impact on employment. Additional projects are in the process of being evaluated and will be announced in the course of 2013.

About ONDACO

ONDACO is a new IT Consulting & Services company, with the objective of offering individual solutions to selected customers. We aim at developing and nurturing personalized relationships with our customers, based on professionalism, commitment, trust and effectiveness. Our team of technicians, consultants and experts are recognized professionals with extensive experience and a strong reputation.

ONDACO aims at becoming a trusted partner of choice for customers.

For more information, please visit http://www.ondaco.com

About Merck Serono

Merck Serono is the biopharmaceutical division of Merck KGaA. With headquarters in Darmstadt, Germany, 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 medicines of both chemical and biological origin in specialist indications. We have an enduring commitment to deliver novel therapies in our core focus areas of oncology, neurology and immunology.

About Merck

Merck is a global pharmaceutical and chemical company with total revenues of €10.3 billion in 2011, a history that began in 1668, and a future shaped by approx. 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 free shareholders 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 http://www.merckserono.com or http://www.merckgroup.com

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