Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, Presents Phase II Data on the Safety and Efficacy of Atacicept at the 2016 ACR/ARHP Annual Meeting

Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, a leading science and technology company, today announced together with Illumina Inc., San Diego, US, and Genea Limited, Sydney, Australia, that the Global Fertility Alliance …

02 Nov 2016 | Darmstadt, Germany
  • Results from phase II investigations of atacicept in systemic lupus erythematosus (Abstract Numbers: 12L and 764)

Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, a leading science and technology company, today announced that clinical data on atacicept, an investigational drug for systemic lupus erythematosus, are scheduled to be presented in poster sessions at the 2016 American College of Rheumatology/Association of Rheumatology Health Professionals (ACR/ARHP) Annual Meeting taking place from November 11-16, 2016, in Washington, DC, U.S.

“There is a significant unmet medical need in systemic lupus erythematosus, with limited treatment options currently available for this debilitating disease,” said Luciano Rossetti, Head of Global Research & Development for the biopharma business of Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany. “The safety and efficacy data that will be presented at ACR/ARHP indicate that atacicept may play an important role as a potential new therapeutic option for patients with lupus. Our goal is to continue to advance innovation across our immunology pipeline that could make a meaningful difference for people living with lupus and other autoimmune diseases.”

Notes to Editors

Accepted Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany-supported abstracts, including a late-breaking poster presentation, are listed below.´



Lead Author

Abstract ID

Presentation Date / Time

Session Type/Title

Late-Breaking Poster Presentation

Efficacy and safety of atacicept in patients with systemic lupus erythematosus: results of a 24-week randomized, placebo-controlled, phase IIb study

Dr. Joan.T Merrill, Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation, Oklahoma City, OK, USA


Abstract ID: 12L

Sunday, November 13,

9:00 - 11:00 AM


Presentation Time: Tuesday, November 15,

9:00 - 11:00 AM ET

Late-breaking Abstract Session/ Late-Breaking Poster Session

Poster Presentation





Atacicept: Integrated Safety Profile from Phase II Randomized Placebo- Controlled Studies in Autoimmune Diseases

Dr. Patricia Fraser,

EMD Serono, Billerica, MA, USA


Abstract ID: 764

Sunday, November 13,

9:00 - 11:00 AM

Poster Session A/ Systemic Lupus Erythematosus – Clinical Aspects and Treatment - Poster Session I: Clinical Trial Design and Current Therapies


For more information about the data to be presented, please review the ACR/ARHP website. Also, visit our booth at this year’s Annual Meeting to learn more about the company’s commitment to advancing innovation in lupus and other immunological diseases.


  • Phase_II_Data_on_the_Safety_and_Efficacy_of_Atacicept_US.pdf
For More Information Heather Connor

About Atacicept

Atacicept is a potential treatment for systemic lupus erythematosus. Atacicept, a recombinant fusion protein, contains the soluble TACI receptor that binds to the cytokines BLyS and APRIL. These cytokines are members of the tumor necrosis factor family that promote B-cell survival and autoantibody production associated with certain autoimmune diseases such as SLE. Atacicept has been shown in animal models to affect several stages of B-cell development and may inhibit the survival of cells responsible for making antibodies. Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, acquired exclusive worldwide development and commercialization rights for atacicept, including in North America, from Zymogenetics in 2008. Atacicept is currently under clinical investigation and not approved for any use in the United States, Canada and Europe.

About Lupus

Lupus is a chronic inflammatory disease, where the immune system attacks the body's own tissues and organs. Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) is the most common form of lupus and can result in swollen, painful joints, skin rash, extreme fatigue and kidney damage. Estimates vary widely, but SLE may affect as many 300,000 patients in the US alone. Women and individuals with African, Asian, and Hispanic heritage are affected disproportionately by SLE.

All Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, press releases are distributed by e-mail at the same time they become available on the EMD Group Website. In case you are a resident of the USA or Canada please go to to register again for your online subscription of this service as our newly introduced geo-targeting requires new links in the email. You may later change your selection or discontinue this service.

Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany 
Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, is a leading science and technology company in healthcare, life science and performance materials. Around 50,000 employees work to further develop technologies that improve and enhance life - from biopharmaceutical therapies to treat cancer or multiple sclerosis, cutting-edge systems for scientific research and production, to liquid crystals for smartphones and LCD televisions. In 2015, Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, generated sales of € 12.85 billion in 66 countries.

Founded in 1668, Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, is the world's oldest pharmaceutical and chemical company. The founding family remains the majority owner of the publicly listed corporate group. Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, holds the global rights to the „Merck" name and brand. The only exceptions are the United States and Canada, where the company operates as EMD Serono, MilliporeSigma and EMD Performance Materials.

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