Helsinn Healthcare SA

Helsinn partners with EISAI for Gelclair in Italy

    Lugano (ots) - The Swiss pharmaceutical group Helsinn and Eisai Italy, subsidiary of the Japanese pharmaceutical company, have signed a licensing agreement for the commercialization of the medical device Gelclair in Italy.

    Helsinn is the worldwide licensor of Gelclair, a viscous, concentrated, bioadherent oral gel with a mechanical protective action, which relieves pain by adhering to the mucosal surface of the mouth. By this action, it soothes mucositis and stomatitis oral lesions caused by radio and chemotherapy. Oral mucositis can be a very impairing condition, as it may interfere with the ability to eat and drink. Gelclair offers patients an effective and fast symptomatic relief from painful symptoms. An effective control of such symptoms is still an unmet need for cancer patients undergoing radio and chemotherapy and Gelclair is one of the very few specific products available at present in this setting. It is currently accessible in 35 countries and over 1 million doses were sold in 2008 worldwide.

    "Helsinn is a pharmaceutical group that is focusing in particular in Cancer Supportive Care, where we already are partnering with Eisai for the marketing in the US of our leading pharmaceutical product palonosetron", commented Riccardo Braglia, Helsinn's Chief Executive Officer. "This further deal with Eisai in Italy reinforces Helsinn's commitment to make its innovative products available worldwide to grant patients a valid therapeutic option and improve their quality of life. We are confident that Eisai, as a first-rate partner, will make Gelclair a first-choice product for oral mucositis in Italy", he concluded  "Eisai is a global pharmaceutical Company with Corporate Head Quarters in Japan. The Italian subsidiary focuses its interests on the following therapeutic areas: oncology, chronic pain management, epilepsy and acid related disorders. The licensing agreement with Helsinn group on Gelclair commercialization in Italy fits perfectly with our specific commitment to the Oncology field", commented Franco Merckling, Eisai s.r.l. Italy Managing Director. "We strongly believe in this innovative product able to have a positive impact on patients' quality of life, avoiding major oral discomfort consequent to chemotherapy and radiotherapy treatments. Eisai has a long historical experience in patients care, a credo for each Eisai employee. We will be able to propose to Italian oncologists Gelclair, in a new sachet formulation, starting from September this year".

    Further information on Gelclair and oral mucositis can be found at www.gelclair.net

    About Helsinn Group

    Helsinn is a privately owned pharmaceutical group with headquarters in Lugano, Switzerland, and subsidiaries in Ireland and USA. Helsinn is the worldwide licensor of Gelclair. Helsinn's unique business model is focused on the licensing of pharmaceuticals and medical devices in therapeutic niche areas. The Group in-licenses early stage new chemical entities, completes their development from the performance of pre-clinical/clinical studies and Chemistry, Manufacturing and Control (CMC) development, to the filing for and attainment of their market approval worldwide. Helsinn's products are sold directly, through the Group subsidiaries, or eventually out-licensed to its network of local marketing and commercial partners, selected for their deep in-market knowledge and know-how, and assisted and supported with a full range of product and scientific management services, including commercial, regulatory, financial, legal and medical marketing advice.

    The active pharmaceutical ingredients and the finished dosage forms are manufactured at Helsinn's cGMP facilities in Switzerland and Ireland, and supplied worldwide to its customers. For more information about Helsinn Group, please visit the website: www.helsinn.com

    About EISAI globally

    Eisai is one of the world's leading research-based pharmaceutical companies. Established in 1941 and headquartered in Tokyo, Japan, we employ nearly 11,000 people globally. Eisai has been operating in Europe for more than 20 years and our products are available throughout the region. As a hub for managing our business, the European Knowledge Centre (EKC) plays an important role in leading and supporting our operations across Europe. Throughout the world, we strive to generate customer joy. Driven by our mission of human health care (hhc), we aim to understand the priorities of patients and their families. That understanding enables us to respond with products, information and services to improve their quality of life.

    As well as striving to discover new and innovative medicines that satisfy unmet medical needs, we focus on ensuring a stable supply of high quality products and providing information on their safe and proper use. www.eisai.it

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

Contact:
Helsinn Healthcare SA
Paolo Ferrari, Head of International Marketing
Tel.:    +41/91/985'21'21
E-Mail: info-hhc@helsinn.com

Eisai s.r.l.
Paolo Sala, Marketing Director
Tel.:    +39/02/5181401
E-Mail: info@eisai.it



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