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Move Could Derail Biotie Acquisition

Merck Serono Hands Safinamide Back to Newron

By Cormac Sheridan
BioWorld International Correspondent

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

To say that Timo Veromaa, CEO of Biotie Therapies Oyj was not best pleased with Merck Serono SA's surprise decision to exit a partnership with Newron Pharmaceuticals SpA on the Parkinson's drug safinamide would be an understatement.

The timing of the announcement – smack in the middle of Biotie's proposed takeover of Newron – "is completely unorthodox," he told BioWorld International. "To drop the ball right in the middle of [a pivotal Phase III program] is astonishing."

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