Helsinn Healthcare SA

Helsinn Healthcare SA and Riemser Arzneimittel AG sign a license agreement for Aloxi® (palonosetron) and Gelclair® in Germany

    Lugano (ots) - Helsinn Healthcare SA, a Swiss pharmaceutical group, today announced that it has signed a Distribution and License Agreement for Aloxi® (Palonosetron hydrochloride) and Gelclair® in Germany with Riemser Arzneimittel AG, a medium-sized pharmaceutical group engaging in research, headquartered in the West Pomeranian town of Greifswald - Island of Riems, Germany.

    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 USA and European countries, Aloxi® has penetrated the antiemetic market with great success.

    Gelclair® is a viscous, concentrated, bioadherent oral gel with a mechanical action, indicated for the management of painful symptoms associated with oral lesions of various etiologies, including oral mucositis/stomatitis, irritation due to oral surgery, traumatic ulcers caused by braces or ill-fitting dentures or diseases. It is also indicated for diffuse aphtous ulcers.

    "Helsinn is delighted to have entered into agreement with Riemser for our two principal products in the cancer supportive care area", said Dr. Riccardo Braglia, the Helsinn Group's Chief Executive Officer. "This partnership is a key milestone in Helsinn's desire to develop a strong supportive care franchise also in Germany, which will contribute in building a leading position for the group in this area. We are confident in Riemser's strong commitment to bringing Aloxi® and Gelclair® to a first ranking position in the German market, and we are glad that patients in Germany will benefit from these drugs and consequently enjoy an improved quality of life"."Riemser is excited about this new collaboration with Helsinn for two important supportive care, products such as, Aloxi® and Gelclair®, in which we strongly believe", said Mr. Norbert Braun, Riemser's Chief Executive Officer, "We hold high expectations for both products and look forward to making Aloxi® and Gelclair® available to patients in our territory from next June and to contributing to improve the management of chemotherapy treatment".

    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 their chances of completing their treatment course successfully with a better quality of life.    

    About Aloxi®

    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 the USA in September 2003, there have been over 6.9 million successful uses of Aloxi®. The product showed 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 Gelclair®

    Gelclair® is a bioadherent oral gel with a mechanical action which provides pain relief by adhering to the mucosal surface of the mouth, soothing oral lesions of various etiologies such as medication, disease, radiotherapy, chemotherapy, irritation due to oral surgery, ageing and traumatic ulcers caused by braces and ill-fitting dentures. Gelclair® is also indicated for diffuse aphthous ulcers. Patients with oral lesions - in particular mucositis due to treatment with chemotherapy or radiotherapy - tend to be debilitated and in poor general health. The pain and discomfort associated with oral mucositis may interfere with the ability to eat and drink and with the planned therapeutic scheme. Anything offering rapid, symptomatic relief, which would also help patients to eat and drink more easily, is much needed, in order to improve patients' quality of life. For more information about this product please visit our website: www.gelclair.net

    About RIEMSER ARZNEIMITTEL AG

    RIEMSER Arzneimittel AG is a medium-sized pharmaceutical company engaged in research and headquartered in the West Pomeranian town of Greifswald - Island of Riems. The stockholding company (AG) operates in several branches in Germany and produces advanced substances and medicinal products to be applied in most different areas for both humans and animals. The preparations are sold globally.

    The Human segment focuses on biotechnological medicinal products for treating tumourous and immunological diseases. The Veterinary segment develops vaccines and immunoglobulins. Partners of the research and development department are well-known research institutes and universities in Germany and Europe. Institutes of the medical faculties of the universities of Rostock and Greifswald as well as the renowned Friedrich-Löffler-Institut Insel Riems (FLI) are involved in the research work in the federal state of Mecklenburg-West Pomerania. For more information please visit: www.riemsergroup.com

    About HELSINN HEALTHCARE

    HELSINN HEALTHCARE SA is a privately owned pharmaceutical group with headquarters in Switzerland and is worldwide licensor of Aloxi®. 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 (USA 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
Internet: www.presseportal.ch

Contact:
HELSINN HEALTHCARE SA:
Paolo Ferrari - Head of Marketing -
Oncology & Supportive Care
Tel.:    +41/91/985'21'21
E-Mail: info-hhc@helsinn.com

RIEMSER ARZNEIMITTEL AG:
Dr. Herbert Göpfert
Senior Vice President
Oncology & Hospital
Tel.:    +49/251/980'13'20
E-Mail: heerdt@riemser.de



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