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Helsinn Healthcare SA announces the launch of Aloxi® (Palonosetron) in the UK
Lugano, Switzerland (ots) - Helsinn Healthcare SA, a Swiss pharmaceutical group, is pleased to announce, ahead of schedule, today's launch in the UK of Aloxi® (Palonosetron hydrochloride), a new generation treatment for chemotherapy induced nausea and vomiting, by its local partner Maelor plc, the specialist hospital medicines group.
Aloxi® is a patented second generation 5-HT3 antagonist, which is differentiated by its strength on initiation and the duration of its activity. Aloxi® obtained a centralized registration in Europe in 2005, with an indication for the prevention of acute nausea and vomiting associated with highly emetogenic cancer chemotherapy, and the prevention of nausea and vomiting associated with moderately emetogenic cancer chemotherapy.
Since its launch in the US and European countries, Aloxi® has penetrated the antiemetic market with great success. The UK 5-HT3 market is £50 million according to IMS figures at September 2007.
"We are delighted with the progress that has been made by Maelor since we signed the agreement with them on 29th October 2007 for distribution of Aloxi® in the UK that has resulted in a launch ahead of schedule. We are very excited about working with such a committed and professional partner as Maelor to deliver the benefits of Aloxi® to the UK patients and medical community", said Dr. Riccardo Braglia, CEO of Helsinn Healthcare SA.
Tim Wright, CEO of Maelor commented: "We are very pleased to be able to announce the launch of Aloxi®, ahead of schedule. The launch of this unique anti-emetic treatment is directly in line with our core strategy of acquiring late stage and launched specialist hospital medicines and rapidly growing them, as we have demonstrated with our plasma substitute brand, Volplex. Today's launch is the first in a rich pipeline of forthcoming specialist hospital brand launches, which will continue to drive Maelor's strong earnings performance."
About Chemotherapy-Induced Nausea and Vomiting (CINV)
CINV is estimated to potentially affect 85% of cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy and can result in a delay or discontinuation of chemotherapy treatments. The supportive care area is becoming of paramount importance to help patients deal with adverse events of anti-cancer therapies, such as chemotherapy. With good supportive care drugs, cancer patients are able to tolerate the anti-cancer treatment to a greater extent, improving the chances of completing their treatment course successfully and with a better quality of life.
Aloxi® is a selective 5-HT3-receptor antagonist, developed for the prevention of CINV, with a long half-life of 40 hours and at least 30 times higher receptor binding affinity than currently available compounds. In practice this means that Aloxi® only needs to be given once per chemotherapy treatment cycle in comparison with competitor products which need to be given several times. Since its availability in USA in September 2003, there have been over 6.9 million successful uses of Aloxi®. The product has shown to be effective in preventing both acute and delayed CINV in patients receiving emetogenic chemotherapies. For more information about this product please visit our website: www.aloxi.com. About MAELOR plc
Maelor plc (AIM:MLR) is a fast growing specialist hospital medicines group, which is traded on the Alternative Investment Market ("AIM"). The strategy of the Group is to grow by combining the acquisition of products and companies with the dynamic development and marketing of these assets. With a focus in the specialist hospital sector, Maelor leverages its expertise in both pharmaceuticals and medical devices to drive growth. Based in the UK, Maelor commercialises its portfolio in the UK directly. Maelor also operates internationally through a strong network of distributors. Currently focused in the areas of critical care, neurology and oncology, some of Maelor's leading brands include: Critical Care: Volpex® (plasma substitute), Cryogesic® / Dermogesic (cryo-analgesic), Haemopressin® (oesophageal varices), ISOplex® (isotonic plasma substitute) Neurology: Mysoline® (primidone), a product currently used to treat Epilepsy and which Maelor are developing for management of Essential Tremor, a distressing condition affecting an estimated 1 in 25 over 40 year olds for which primidone is one of only two recommended treatments. Oncology: Cryogesic®, 5 FU (oral chemotherapeutic) and most recently, Aloxi® (chemotherapy induced nausea and vomiting) Products which are outside of the Group's core hospital focus or are in early stage of research are out-licensed, including the successful OptiFlo Catheter Maintenance Solutions, a trademark of C.R. Bard Inc or an affiliate (to Bard Limited) and Micelle Nanotechnology, an early stage product for interstitial cystitis (to Plethora Solutions Limited). To find out more about Maelor go to www.maelor.plc.uk.
About HELSINN HEALTHCARE
HELSINN HEALTHCARE SA is a privately owned pharmaceutical group with headquarters in Switzerland. HELSINN's core business is the licensing of pharmaceuticals in therapeutic areas: cancer supportive care, oncology, pain and inflammation, gastrointestinal and niche areas. The company's business strategy is to in-license early-stage new chemical entities and complete their development from the performance of pre-clinical/clinical studies and CMC development to the attainment of market approvals in strategic markets (U.S. and Europe). HELSINN's products are eventually out-licensed to its worldwide consolidated network of partners for distribution. The active pharmaceutical ingredients and the drug products are manufactured at HELSINN's cGMP facilities and supplied worldwide to its customers. HELSINN'S chemical business focuses on the pharmaceutical chemical process development and manufacturing of advanced intermediates, Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients (APIs) and High Potency Active Ingredients (HPAIs) for both the HELSINN group and its outsourcing partners. For more information about HELSINN, please visit www.helsinn.com
ots Originaltext: Helsinn Healthcare SA
Tim Wright - CEO
Financial Dynamics Limited
Tel.: +44/(0)20/7831- 3113
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Noble & Company Limited
Matthew Hall / Sam Reynolds
Contact HELSINN HEALTHCARE SA:
Paolo Ferrari - Head of Marketing
Oncology & Supportive Care