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Helsinn Group And Marketing Enter Into Agreement For Marketing Rights Of Netupitant-Palonosetron Fixed-Dose Combination (NEPA) In The UK And Ireland And For Palonosetron Monotherapy In The UK

7/17/2014 9:14:54 AM

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LUGANO, Switzerland and TOKYO, July 17, 2014 /PRNewswire/ --

Under the exclusive agreement, Chugai Pharma Marketing gains rights for the marketing of palonosetron in the UK and NEPA in the UK and in Ireland from Helsinn Group, strengthening the existing alliance between the companies in therapeutic area of supportive cancer care.

Helsinn, the Swiss Group focused on building quality cancer care, and Chugai Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd. today announced that exclusive rights to NEPA, an investigational oral fixed-dose combination of netupitant and palonosetron being evaluated for the prevention of chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting (CINV), have been granted to Chugai Pharma Marketing Ltd., a wholly owned subsidiary of Chugai, in the UK and Ireland. Chugai has also been granted the exclusive right to market the palonosetron monotherapy, Aloxi, in the UK as from January 1st, 2015.

NEPA is a fixed-dose combination of a novel NK1receptor antagonist (Netupitant) and the best-in-class 5-HT3receptor antagonist palonosetron. It is currently in the registration phase in both the USA and Europe for the prevention of Chemotherapy Induced Nausea and Vomiting (CINV) in humans in the oncology field.

One of the components of NEPA is palonosetron, the market-leading treatment for CINV in patients with cancer. Palonosetron worldwide sales in 2013 were around USD 625 million (IMS data). The product is marketed and available in over 65 countries worldwide under the brand names of Aloxi®, Onicit®and Paloxi®.

In the phase 2 and phase 3 clinical trials NEPA demonstrated that it provides a significant improvement in the prevention of acute and delayed CINV when compared to oral palonosetron. Clinical data have been published in peer reviewed medical journals and presented in several international congresses such as the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) and the Multinational Association of Supportive Care in Cancer (MASCC).

Chugai is already one of Helsinn's partners for anamorelin, a new first-in-class, once daily ghrelin receptor agonist, currently in phase 3 trials for the treatment of Cancer Anorexia Cachexia Syndrome (CACS) in non-small cell lung cancer, in seven EU countries including Germany, France, Belgium, Netherlands, Luxemburg, the UK and Ireland.

Under the terms of the new agreement, Helsinn retains all development activities and the supply of both NEPA and palonosetron for commercial use, as well as regulatory and clinical development. Chugai will be responsible for all marketing activities in the designated territories.

Riccardo Braglia, CEO of Helsinn Group, said: "Helsinn is delighted to sign this additional agreement with Chugai, extending our scope of work to the area of CINV on top of our agreement in CACS. To be able to work with the same partner in the UK and Ireland helps us to create significant synergies across these regions when marketing the products. This agreement will allow Helsinn's products to reach more cancer patients and help to deliver a better quality of life*. It is rare that patients only suffer a single side effect from chemotherapy and this alliance means that we can offer physicians a wider choice of products, to treat patients and help them achieve a better quality of life and potentially better outcomes."

Chugai's continuing partnership with Helsinn has led to further collaborations in the European market and we are pleased with the announcement that Chugai will introduce Helsinn's novel new treatment for the treatment of CINV, NEPA in the UK and Ireland. In addition to NEPA, Aloxi, an important drug for the prevention of CINV, will now be distributed in the UK by Chugai from 2015. Chugai has a strong presence in the oncology supportive care market in the UK and Ireland, and the future addition for Helsinn's novel medicines with strong supporting data will enhance our presence in this field giving physician and patients more treatment choices' said John Halls, Managing Director of Chugai Pharma Marketing.

* Lorusso V et al. Support care Cancer 2009; 17(12): 1469-73

Notes to editors

About Netupitant 300 mg + Oral Palonosetron 0.50 mg (NEPA)

NEPA is currently under review by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the European Medicines Agency (EMA). NEPA is an investigational single-day, oral, fixed-dose combination of a selective NK1 receptor antagonist, netupitant, and a 5-HT3receptor antagonist, oral palonosetron, believed to target two critical signaling pathways associated with CINV.

About the Helsinn Group

Helsinn is a family run, privately owned pharmaceutical group focused on building quality cancer care with a large portfolio of products. Founded in 1976 with headquarters in Lugano, Switzerland, Helsinn also has operating subsidiaries in Ireland, the USA and a representative office in China. Helsinn's business model is focused on the licensing of pharmaceuticals, medical devices and nutritional supplement products in the therapeutic area of cancer care.

Helsinn Group in-licenses early-to-late stage new chemical entities, completing their development by performing pre-clinical/clinical studies as well as associated manufacturing activities. Helsinn then prepares necessary regulatory filings in order to achieve marketing approvals worldwide. Helsinn's products are out-licensed to its global network of marketing and commercial partners that have been selected for their local market knowledge. Helsinn supports these partners by providing a full range of product and scientific management services, including commercial, regulatory, and medical marketing advice. Helsinn has built a large product portfolio of cancer care products with the alliance of over 65 global partners. In March 2013, Helsinn established a new commercial organization within its subsidiary, Helsinn Therapeutics (U.S.), Inc., in order to conduct direct sales and marketing activities within the U.S. market. Helsinn's products are manufactured according to the highest quality, safety, and environmental standards at Helsinn's GMP facilities in Switzerland and Ireland from where they are then supplied worldwide to customers. Further information on Helsinn Group is available at

About Chugai Pharma Marketing

Chugai Pharma Marketing Ltd. is the headquarters of all Chugai's commercial activities throughout Europe and coordinates the European marketing operations through subsidiaries located in the UK, France, and Germany. Products which are currently marketed in those countries include "RoActemra® (tocilizumab)", a humanized anti-human IL-6 receptor monoclonal antibody, "Granocyte®(lenograstim)", a G-CSF preparation, and "Antepsin®(sucralfate)", an antiulcer agent (marketed in the UK and Ireland).

About Chugai

Chugai Pharmaceutical is one of Japan's leading research-based pharmaceutical companies with strengths in biotechnology products. Chugai, based in Tokyo, specializes in prescription pharmaceuticals and is listed on the 1st section of the Tokyo Stock Exchange. As an important member of the Roche Group, Chugai is actively involved in R&D activities in Japan and abroad. Specifically, Chugai is working to develop innovative products which may satisfy the unmet medical needs, mainly focusing on the oncology area.

In Japan, Chugai's research facilities in Gotemba and Kamakura are collaborating to develop new pharmaceuticals and Ukima is conducting research for technology development for industrial production. Overseas, Chugai Pharmabody Research was established in Singapore in January 2012 for conducting research focusing on the generation of new antibody drugs by utilizing Chugai's proprietary innovative antibody engineering technologies. Chugai Pharma USA and Chugai Pharma Europe are engaged in clinical development activities in the United States and Europe.

The consolidated revenue in 2013 of Chugai totaled 423.7 billion yen and the operating income was 79.9 billion yen. We are aiming at the consolidated revenue of 451.0 billion yen and operating profit of 71.0 billion yen in IFRS core basis, in 2014.

Additional information is available on the Internet at

For more information, please contact:

Helsinn Group
Paola Bonvicini
Head of Communication & Press Office Tel: +41-91-985-21-21

For media/ external inquiries
Consilium Strategic Communications
Mary-Jane Elliott / Jessica Hodgson / Matthew Neal / Laura Thornton


Chugai pharmaceutical Co., Ltd.
Corporate Communications Dept.
Media Relations Group
Tel: +81(0)3-3273-0881

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