Helsinn Healthcare SA

Helsinn Healthcare SA announces the launch of ALOXI® (palonosetron hcl) injection for the prevention of postoperative nausea and vomiting in the USA

    Lugano (ots) - Helsinn's Top Management and its U.S. partner Eisai Inc. today announced the availability in the USA of ALOXI® (palonosetron hydrochloride) injection 0.075 mg for the prevention of postoperative nausea and vomiting (PONV) for up to 24 hours following surgery. The introduction of ALOXI® for PONV represents the first launch of a new indication for an MGI product since Eisai acquired the organization in January 2008.

    Approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for PONV on February 29, 2008, ALOXI® injection 0.075 mg is administered as a single I.V. dose immediately before induction of anesthesia to prevent PONV for up to 24 hours following surgery. Efficacy beyond 24 hours has not been demonstrated. ALOXI® has been available in the United States since 2003, when it was approved by the FDA for the prevention of chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting (CINV). A supplemental New Drug Application for ALOXI® Capsules for oral administration for CINV is currently under review by the FDA.    

    Postoperative nausea and vomiting are common consequences of anesthesia and surgical procedures. Twenty to 30 percent of patients undergoing surgery experience PONV at some point during their recovery, and rates can approach 70 to 80 percent for patients with multiple risk factors, such as female gender, non-smoker, history of motion sickness or PONV, and use of postoperative opioids. Many patients report that the prevention of PONV is more important than the avoidance of postoperative pain.

    An estimated 38 million general anesthesia procedures are performed each year in the United States (2006 figures), and 39 percent of these - 15 million procedures - utilize anti-emetic therapy for PONV. Of these 15 million procedures, 89 percent, or 13.4 million, use 5-hydroxytryptamine-3 (5-HT3) receptor antagonists, such as ALOXI®.

    About ALOXI® INJECTION

    In addition to the new PONV indication (ALOXI® injection 0.075 mg), ALOXI® (palonosetron HCl) injection 0.25 mg is the first and only 5-hydroxytryptamine-3 (5-HT3) receptor antagonist to be indicated for the prevention of acute and delayed nausea and vomiting associated with initial and repeat courses of moderately emetogenic chemotherapy, and for the prevention of acute nausea and vomiting associated with initial and repeat courses of highly emetogenic chemotherapy.

    ALOXI® is contraindicated in patients known to have hypersensitivity to the drug or any of its components. The most commonly reported adverse reactions (incidence *2 percent) in ALOXI® CINV trials were headache (9 percent) and constipation (5 percent), and in the PONV trials, the most commonly reported adverse reactions were QT prolongation (5 percent), bradycardia (4 percent), headache (3 percent), and constipation (2 percent).

    Please see the ALOXI® prescribing information, available at www.ALOXI.com, for important additional details.

    Eisai licensed the North American distribution and marketing rights for ALOXI® from Helsinn Healthcare SA.

    About EISAI INC.

    Eisai Inc. is a U.S. pharmaceutical subsidiary of Eisai Co., Ltd., a research-based human health care (hhc) company that discovers, develops and markets products throughout the world. Eisai focuses its efforts in three therapeutic areas: neurology, gastrointestinal disorders and oncology/critical care. Established in 1995 and ranked among the top-20 U.S. pharmaceutical companies (based on retail sales), Eisai Inc. began marketing its first product in the United States in 1997 and has rapidly grown to become an integrated pharmaceutical business with fiscal year 2007 (year ended March 31, 2008) sales of approximately $3 billion, including the results of the acquisition of MGI PHARMA, INC.

    Eisai Inc. employs approximately 1,500 people at its headquarters in Woodcliff Lake, NJ, at its state-of-the-art pharmaceutical production and formulation research and development facility in Research Triangle Park, NC, and in the field.  For more information about Eisai, please visit www.eisai.com .

    About HELSINN HEALTHCARE SA

    HELSINN HEALTHCARE SA is a privately owned pharmaceutical group with headquarters in Switzerland and is the worldwide licensor of palonosetron. HELSINN's core business is the licensing of pharmaceuticals in therapeutic 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 marketing partners for distribution. The active pharmaceutical ingredients and the finished dosage forms are manufactured at HELSINN's cGMP facilities and supplied worldwide to its customers. For more information about HELSINN, please visit the company's Web site at www.helsinn.com .

ots Originaltext: Helsinn Healthcare SA
Internet: www.presseportal.ch/fr

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



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