Helsinn Healthcare SA

Helsinn and Vifor Pharma sign new contract for Gelclair in Switzerland

    Lugano (ots) - New therapeutic option for the management of painful symptoms of oral mucositis in the oncology setting soon available for Swiss patients

    Helsinn, the pharmaceutical group based in Lugano, and Vifor Pharma, are pleased to announce that a Distribution & Licensing Agreement for Helsinn's product Gelclair in Switzerland has been signed recently. The product launch on the domestic market is foreseen to take place during the fourth quarter 2010.

    Gelclair is 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 sooths mucositis and stomatitis oral lesions caused by radio and chemotherapy.

    Gelclair represents an ideal complement in Vifor Pharma's supportive care and oncology portfolio and this new bond further reinforces the strong business relationship that Vifor Pharma and Helsinn have built through the successful agreements in force for nimesulide and palonosetron. "Helsinn is confident that Vifor Pharma's expertise and commitment will ensure a high recognition of the important role that Gelclair can play in the management of oral mucositis in cancer patients" said Riccardo Braglia, CEO of the Helsinn Group.

    Dr. Josef Troxler, General Manager Vifor Pharma Rx Switzerland, adds, "Together with palonosetron and our i.v. iron products, Gelclair will strengthen Vifor Pharma's position in supportive care and help cancer patients in alleviating their symptoms and adhering to the treatment".

    About Helsinn Group

    Helsinn is a privately owned pharmaceutical group with headquarters in Lugano, Switzerland and subsidiaries in Ireland and USA. Helsinn's business model is focused on the licensing of pharmaceuticals and medical devices in therapeutic niche areas. The Group in-licenses early to late 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 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. Helsinn is the worldwide licensor of palonosetron, a second generation 5-HT3 receptor antagonist, for the prevention of chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting (CINV) in patients with cancer and of post-operative nausea and vomiting (PONV), and of the original nimesulide, a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) distributed in more than 50 countries worldwide.

    Helsinn, with a workforce of around 450 employees in Switzerland, Ireland and USA, reported a 2009 turnover of over CHF 305 million (about EUR 200 million), covering 85 countries worldwide, with over 20% of this turnover invested in R&D.

    For more information about Helsinn Group, please visit the website: www.helsinn.com

    For more information about Vifor Pharma, please visit the website: www.viforpharma.com

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

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

Vifor Pharma
Harriet Sihn
Flughofstrasse 61
P.O. Box  
CH-8152 Glattbrugg
Tel.:        +41/58/851'80'00
Fax:         +41/58/851'80'01
Internet: www.viforpharma.com



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