EMD Serono Launches CYANOKIT® 2.5g Antidote in Canada

MISSISSAUGA, ON, May 24, 2011 /CNW/ - EMD Serono, a Division of EMD Inc., Canada, an Affiliate of Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, today announced the launch of CYANOKIT® (Hydroxocobalamin 2.5g Powder for Solution for Infusion), the first and only Health Canada -Schedule F (Recommended) approved antidote indicated for the treatment of both known or suspected cyanide poisoning1.

EMD Serono received a Notice of Compliance from Health Canada in December 2010 to market and sell CYANOKIT® in Canada. "Launching CYANOKIT® will allow EMD Serono to raise awareness of this emergency antidote's availability in Canada, and to educate key decision-makers on the prevalence of cyanide poisoning that may result from inhalation, ingestion, or dermal exposure to various cyanide-containing compounds," said Deborah M. Brown, President of EMD Serono, Canada. "This product supports our goal of bringing innovative products and services to patients with unique healthcare needs."

Cyanide is a rapidly acting, highly poisonous chemical that can exist as a colorless gas or a crystal form2. Cyanide poisoning can happen from breathing smoke from household and industrial fires, breathing or swallowing cyanide or having your skin exposed to cyanide. The most common source of cyanide poisoning occurs from smoke inhalation from closed-space fires, an often underappreciated risk that can cause severe injury or death within minutes.3,4

The presence and extent of cyanide poisoning are often initially unknown. There is no widely available, rapid, confirmatory cyanide blood test. Treatment decisions must often be made on the basis of clinical history and signs and symptoms of cyanide intoxication. If clinical suspicion of cyanide poisoning is high, CYANOKIT® should be administered without delay.5

About CYANOKIT®
CYANOKIT® (Hydroxocobalamin 2.5g Powder for Solution for Infusion) is an emergency prescription treatment (antidote) used in patients with known or suspected cyanide poisoning. The active ingredient in CYANOKIT®, hydroxocobalamin, binds to cyanide that is present in the blood, making it less toxic. The complexed cyanide is then renally excreted from the body. CYANOKIT® consists of two vials, each containing 2.5 g hydroxycobalmin powder which are then reconstituted in 100mL of liquid for intravenous administration6.

About EMD Serono, Canada
EMD Serono is a Division of EMD Inc., Canada. EMD Inc., Canada, is an affiliate of Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany. In Canada, EMD Serono provides innovative drug therapies that address unmet medical needs in the areas of neurodegenerative diseases, fertility and endocrinology. EMD Serono employs approximately 150 people across Canada and is headquartered in Mississauga, Ontario.  For more information, please visit www.emdserono.ca

About Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany
Merck is a global pharmaceutical and chemical company with total revenues of € 9.3 billion in 2010, 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 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 www.merckserono.com or www.merck.de

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1  CYANOKIT® Product Monograph Dec 17, 2010

2 Facts About Cyanide, Centres for Disease Control and Prevention

3 Eckstein M, Maniscalco PM. Focus on smoke inhalation--the most common cause of acute cyanide poisoning.  Prehosp Disaster Med. 2006;21(2):S49-S55.

4 Guidotti T. Acute cyanide poisoning in prehospital care: new challenges, new tools for intervention. Prehosp Disaster Med. 2006;21(2):S40-S48.

5 CYANOKIT® Product Monograpgh Dec 17, 2010

6 CYANOKIT® Product Monograpgh Dec 17, 2010


SOURCE EMD Serono

For further information:

Norm Berberich
Tel. 1 905 919-0163


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