Helsinn Healthcare SA

Helsinn Announces New Plans for its Manufacturi...

LUGANO, Switzerland, June 22 /PRNewswire/ --     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

    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.


    Dr. Giorgio Calderari,
    Chief Operating Officer, Helsinn group
    Tel: +41-91-985-21-21
    [email protected]