Merck KGaA launches RebiSmart

DARMSTADT, Germany An electronic injection device designed to make self-administration of a multiple sclerosis drug easier for patients has been launched, the manufacturer announced Wednesday.

Merck KGaA announced the launch of RebiSmart in Canada and Europe. The device, designed for self-administration of Rebif (interferon beta-1a), is undergoing phase 3 trials in the United States, while the drug itself received approval from the Food and Drug Administration in 2002.

The RebiSmart is used with multi-dose cartridges of Rebif, each of which contains a week’s worth of medicine. It includes interactive, on-screen instructions and signals to guide patients through the injection process, as well as adjustable comfort settings to minimize discomfort and pain.

“Making injection more comfortable for the patient is important to ensure optimal treatment outcomes in multiple sclerosis,” University of British Columbia assistant professor of neurology Virginia Devonshire said. “The first electronic injection device in MS is an innovative approach and could contribute to increasing patient adherence to therapy.”

Based in Darmstadt, Germany, Merck KGaA is a separate company from Whitehouse Station, N.J.-based Merck & Co.