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Helsinn to Launch Sales Organization in the United States


10/1/2013 9:50:31 AM

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LUGANO, Switzerland, October 1, 2013 /PRNewswire/ --

The Swiss Helsinn Group announced today the formation of a sales organization in the US subsidiary, Helsinn Therapeutics (US) Inc. A commercial organization of 20 people has been engaged throughout the United States. The new oncology sales representatives will be working via a co-detailing agreement for Aloxi® (palonosetron HCl injection), licensed by the Helsinn Group to Eisai, Inc.

The establishment of this commercial organization in the United States represents the next step in strengthening Helsinn's international presence. "We are excited about entering the largest market in the world with a sales organization. This new phase of Helsinn's growth into a fully integrated oncology company builds on our existing and successful global business to business capabilities. We are grateful to Eisai for their support in this new opportunity. We remain strongly committed to developing and delivering products that support cancer patients," commented Riccardo Braglia, Helsinn Group's Chief Executive Officer.

About FDA-Approved Aloxi® (palonosetron HCl Injection)

Aloxi® (palonosetron HCl) injection 0.25 mg is the first and only IV 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.

Important Safety Information

Aloxi® is contraindicated in patients known to have hypersensitivity to the drug or any of its components. Hypersensitivity reactions, including anaphylaxis, have been reported with or without known hypersensitivity to other 5-HT3 receptor antagonists. The most commonly reported adverse reactions in Aloxi® chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting trials include headache (9%) and constipation (5%). Please see the Aloxi® package insert, available at http://www.aloxi.com, for important additional details.

About Chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting (CINV)

Chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting is among the most dreaded side effects following therapy in patients with cancer. Despite prophylaxis, on the day of chemotherapy, up to 30-45 percent of patients experience nausea or vomiting or require rescue therapy following administration of certain types of emetogenic chemotherapy. The 5-HT3 receptor plays a pivotal role in the process of emesis, and agents that antagonize these receptor subtypes are the basis for control of this effect.

Following the development of the older 5-HT3 receptor antagonists, such as ondansetron and granisetron, in the late '80s and early '90s, in recent years new compounds have been made available for preventing CINV, including palonosetron.

About the Helsinn Group

Helsinn is a privately owned pharmaceutical group with headquarters in Lugano, Switzerland, and operating subsidiaries in Ireland, the United States and a representative office in China. Helsinn's business model is focused on the licensing of pharmaceuticals, medical devices and nutritional supplement products in therapeutic niche areas. Helsinn is an important player in cancer supportive care. Helsinn Group in-licenses early-to-late stage new chemical entities, completes their development through the performance of pre-clinical /clinical studies and Chemistry, Manufacturing, and Control (CMC) development, and files and attains their market approvals worldwide. Helsinn's products are out-licensed to its network of local marketing and commercial partners, selected for their deep in-market knowledge and know-how whom Helsinn assists and supports by providing 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 products are manufactured according to the highest quality, safety, and environmental standards at Helsinn's GMP facilities in Switzerland and Ireland and supplied worldwide to its customers.

Further information on Helsinn Group is available at http://www.helsinn.com.

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