Helsinn Announces New Plans for its Manufacturing Operations

By Prne, Gaea News Network
Sunday, June 21, 2009

LUGANO, Switzerland - Today the Swiss pharmaceutical group Helsinn announced new plans aimed at creating a competitive Manufacturing Organization focused on highly potent compounds, with strong R&D and production capabilities. Both financial investments and a new organization of the manufacturing sites in Ireland and Switzerland are part of this strategy.

In March this year Helsinn invested over EUR 13 million, with the support of the Irish Government through IDA (Irish Development Authority), to build a Centre-of-excellence in Research and Development for Oral Solid Dosage (OSD), creating 10 high-value research positions, at one of its facilities near Dublin, Ireland. Now, the Helsinn Chemicals Organization located in Biasca, Switzerland, after an initial investment of about EUR 5 million completed in the recent years, is planning to expand the development and manufacturing services in the Swiss Helsinn Advanced Synthesis site.

Part of the plan is also the sale of the Helsinn Chemicals Ireland Ltd. plant in Mulhuddart, Dublin, to the Italian company Medinco C.F.M. Group, a Milan-based chemical pharmaceutical company which specialises in the supply of generic Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients to a global client base. The signature of the agreement between the parties was also announced today.

“Helsinn is a rapidly-growing pharmaceutical group. Established in Switzerland in the late ’70s, the Group has rapidly built an organisation capable of successfully delivering products to global markets. This was made true thanks to the synergies between our integrated pharmaceutical commercial and manufacturing operations”, said Riccardo Braglia, CEO of the Helsinn Group. “The new organization of our R&D and production facilities in both Switzerland and Ireland represents one of our corporate strategic goals and is of significant benefit for the further growth of our international business,” he concluded.

PharmaVentures Ltd., Oxford, UK provided transaction advisory services to Helsinn for this deal.

About Helsinn Group

Helsinn is a privately owned pharmaceutical group with headquarters in Lugano, Switzerland. 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.

Helsinn is the worldwide licensor of palonosetron, a second generation 5-HT3 receptor antagonist, for the prevention of chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting (CINV) and of post-operative nausea and vomiting (PONV) in patients with cancer, 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 2008 turnover of over CHF 280.3 million (about EUR 178 million), covering 75 countries worldwide, with over 20% of this turnover invested in R&D.

Contact: Dr. Giorgio Calderari, Chief Operating Officer, Helsinn group Tel: +41-91-985-21-21 info-hhc@helsinn.com

Source: Helsinn Healthcare SA

Contact: Dr. Giorgio Calderari, Chief Operating Officer, Helsinn group, Tel: +41-91-985-21-21, info-hhc at helsinn.com

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