Helsinn and Tánaiste Announce new R&D Centre-of-Excellence at Helsinn in Dublin

By Prne, Gaea News Network
Wednesday, April 1, 2009

LUGANO, Switzerland and DUBLIN - Investment in Line With the Government and IDA Strategy for R&D

Helsinn together with the Irish Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment Mary Coughlan TD, today announced, that Helsinn Holding S.A., a privately owned pharmaceutical company, is to establish a Centre-of- excellence in Research and Development for Oral Solid Dosage (OSD) at its Helsinn Birex Pharmaceuticals facility, one of four businesses at its site at Mulhuddart, Dublin. The investment of over EUR13 million which is supported by Government through IDA Ireland is anticipated to create 10 high-value research positions. Helsinn’s core business is the in-licensing of late-stage pharmaceutical compounds in therapeutic niche areas for development and subsequent commercial manufacture and distribution. The company is primarily active in oncology supportive care, anti-inflammatory and gastrointestinal treatments. The investment is part of Helsinn’s strategic decision to strengthen its in-house development capability.

The Tánaiste said, “This investment will establish the Irish operation as the Centre of Knowledge and Learning for OSD products in the Helsinn Group and also the launch site for new products within its portfolio. Strategically it is very significant for the Irish operation, putting it at the core of Helsinn’s R&D activities. The investment is very much in line with the Government and IDA strategy of transformation of existing Irish operations of international companies, particularly into R&D and knowledge-based activities.” Helsinn’s Irish operation was established in 1990, when it acquired Birex Pharmaceuticals in Dublin. To-date Helsinn has invested a total of over EUR55 million in Ireland and continuously invests in its plants in order to maintain high quality and safety, to increase overall production capacity and to offer its partners up-to date products, technologies and services. It now employs a total of 210 people at its four separate businesses - Helsinn Birex Pharmaceuticals, Helsinn Chemicals Ireland and a sales and marketing company, Helsinn Birex Therapeutics with its Ergha Healthcare division. Riccardo Braglia, Chief Executive Officer of the Helsinn Group said, “This new investment in R&D is another important step for the Irish operation and will be of significant benefit for the future of our international business, with the aim of centralising in the new plant any scientific development for Oral Solid Dosage products.”

About Helsinn

Helsinn, a family owned company headquartered in Lugano, Switzerland, was established in 1976. It employs 450 people between its operations in Switzerland, Ireland and USA and supplies its products to 75 countries.

About Helsinn in Ireland

Helsinn has operated in Ireland since 1990 and its Irish manufacturing facilities are EU certified for manufacture of pharmaceutical products and were successfully inspected by the US Food and Drug Administration last year. The companies manufacture and package the group’s products in compliance with EU, US FDA and all major international health and environmental requirements, thus guaranteeing Helsinn’s clients the highest possible assurance of quality and reliability.

Contact: Helsinn Padraig Somers General Manager, Helsinn Birex Pharmaceuticals Tel.: +353-1-8225404 Department of Enterprise Trade and Employment Press Office Tel.: +353-1-6312200 IDA Ireland Brendan Kenny, Press & PR Tel.: +353-87-9036126

Source: Helsinn Healthcare SA

Contact: Helsinn, Padraig Somers, General Manager, Helsinn Birex Pharmaceuticals, Tel.: +353-1-8225404; Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment Press Office, Tel.: +353-1-6312200; IDA Ireland, Brendan Kenny, Press & PR, Tel.: +353-87-9036126

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