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Biogen Idec Reinforces Commitment to MS Community on 5th Annual World MS Day

May 29, 2013

– Biogen Idec Corporate Website Dedicated to World MS Day Awareness –

– Company Conducts MS Awareness Campaign for Members of EU Parliament in Brussels –

– Biogen Idec Affiliates Worldwide Hold Awareness Raising & Educational Activities –


WESTON, Mass.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Biogen Idec (NASDAQ: BIIB) joins the global multiple sclerosis (MS) community today to acknowledge the fifth annual World MS Day by hosting awareness and educational activities around the globe. Created by the Multiple Sclerosis International Federation (MSIF) and its member MS societies, World MS Day ( is a global awareness-raising campaign that informs the public about the intricacies of MS and its impact on the lives of more than two million people worldwide.

“Our decades-long partnership with the global MS community has helped to bring people with MS across the globe significant advances in treatment options, patient care and continued research advances. On World MS Day, we join together to build understanding and awareness of MS and reiterate our unwavering commitment to advance the fight against this debilitating disease,” said John Richert, M.D., vice president, global medical affairs, Biogen Idec. “We are working diligently to address the needs of people living with MS, bringing them new hope – with the goal of improving their quality of life.”

This year’s theme for World MS Day is “Young People with MS,” focusing on six inspiring young people with MS and their personal mottos for relationships, their futures, and their identities. “We all have mottos to get us through the most challenging times in life,” explains Peer Baneke, chief executive officer of MSIF. “We want to know the words that give people strength to overcome obstacles when times are tough,” he added.

Since the beginning of May, MSIF has encouraged young people to share their mottos on the World MS Day website ( and across Facebook (, Twitter (, and Pinterest ( Events to mark this significant day will be taking place in more than 60 countries around the world, and Baneke adds, “We are very grateful for the support of Biogen Idec and other companies and hope the campaign will be an inspiration to them, as well.”

At the heart of Biogen Idec's mission is the scientific discovery, development and delivery of new therapies to help patients with neurodegenerative diseases, hemophilia and autoimmune disorders. The company’s commitment to MS is evident through the wide range of research, clinical advancements, services and therapeutics options developed specifically for treating MS. Founded in 1978, Biogen Idec employs more than 6,000 people worldwide and remains the world’s oldest independent biotechnology company.

Today, Biogen Idec has dedicated the home page of the company’s corporate website ( to MSIF to raise awareness for the cause. Visitors to the site are invited to link to the World MS Day website.

Additionally, World MS Day is the start of Biogen Idec’s awareness-building campaign to inform governments and politicians at the European Union and national level. The campaign will focus on the human and economic impact of MS, highlighting the company’s support of the 2012 EU Parliament declaration to improve equal access to care for MS patients in Europe.

Biogen Idec’s affiliates are undertaking a wide range of activities in support of World MS Day around the world. Highlights include:

  • Argentina: Raising awareness of mobility impairment in people living with MS in collaboration with Asociación Civil Esclerosis Múltiple Córdoba, the local patient advocacy organization.
  • Australia: Supporting the “Kiss MS Goodbye” campaign in collaboration with the patient organization MS Australia; supporting the MS Walk to raise awareness and funding for MS patients.
  • Finland: Hosting a 4-week fundraising walk to increase awareness about MS. All Finish MS clinics are participating and the winner will donate money to either research or a patient organization.
  • Germany: Organizing 25 patient events to raise awareness around adherence and mobility and launching the microsite “My World MS Day 2013” ( as the hub of the campaign.
  • India: Hosting MS awareness campaigns in ten major cities and initiating the “I Support MS” blog campaign.
  • Japan: Conducting an MS awareness-raising campaign on television stations in six major cities; with the MS Society in Japan, hosting “The Moments when I Feel Most Alive” award ceremony.
  • The Netherlands: In cooperation with the patient organization MS Foundation The Netherlands launching the 2nd annual DreaMS award campaign to improve the quality of life for MS patients and help them realize their dreams.
  • Poland: Kicking off the Fight for Yourself campaign aimed at improving quality of life and equal access to care for MS patients.
  • Portugal: Organizing Superheroes against MS in collaboration with Sociedade Portuguesa de Esclerose Múltipla, the Portuguese MS patient society, to educate school children whose parents have MS about the disease.
  • Spain: Releasing a video showcasing an MS patient on Spain’s national television channel to raise awareness about MS; hosting two roundtables in which government officials will discuss challenges and opportunities to improve the health care and treatment options for MS patients.
  • Sweden: Launching Stand up and Fight for MS campaign mobilizing the MS community to fight for the right to early diagnosis, equitable access, and a flexible working environment; launching the I have MS website to prioritize MS as a neurological disease in Sweden.

About Multiple Sclerosis
Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a chronic, unpredictable, and progressive disease of the central nervous system that causes inflammation and destruction of nerve fibers as well as the myelin sheath, the protective layer that surrounds the body’s nerve fibers. Symptoms of MS vary and may include cognitive impairment, loss of vision, weak limbs, unsteadiness in walking, and fatigue. According to the MSIF, MS is one of the most common diseases of the central nervous system, and there are more than 2 million people around the world living with the disease.

About Biogen Idec
Through cutting-edge science and medicine, Biogen Idec discovers, develops and delivers to patients worldwide innovative therapies for the treatment of neurodegenerative diseases, hemophilia and autoimmune disorders. Founded in 1978, Biogen Idec is the world’s oldest independent biotechnology company. Patients worldwide benefit from its leading multiple sclerosis therapies, and the company generates more than $5 billion in annual revenues. For product labeling, press releases and additional information about the company, please visit




Biogen Idec
Ligia Del Bianco, +1-781-464-3260
Biogen Idec International
Shannon Altimari, +41 41 392 16 77
Benjamin Strain, +1-781-464-2442



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