Helsinn acquires Sapphire Therapeutics

26-Jul-2010

Swiss pharmaceutical group Helsinn has acquired the US biopharmaceutical company, Sapphire Therapeutics, based in Bridgewater, New Jersey, for an undisclosed amount.

Swiss pharmaceutical group Helsinn has acquired the US biopharmaceutical company, Sapphire Therapeutics, based in Bridgewater, New Jersey, for an undisclosed amount.

The establishment of a US-based r&d and commercial operation represents attainment of one of the Helsinn Group\'s corporate strategic goals. Helsinn has appointed Franco De Vecchi, who is already a member of Helsinn Holding\'s board, to become chairman and president of Helsinn Therapeutics (US) Inc; all existing staff will be maintained and strengthened.

This acquisition will give the Helsinn Group access to a very interesting and promising pipeline of products, including:

anamorelin, a first-in-class therapy for the treatment of cancer cachexia, suitable for once-a-day oral administration, with early evidence of a rapid onset of beneficial effects and a good safety and tolerability profile (end Phase II);

ipamorelin, for the i.v. treatment of post operative ileus, the impairment of bowel motility following surgery, an unmet medical need (Phase II);

ST-1141, a new oral compound, for the treatment of opioid-induced bowel dysfunction (Phase I);

The acquisition will have a direct, positive impact on the Helsinn Group since the production of Helsinn Therapeutics (US) Inc. products will be carried out in Helsinn\'s manufacturing facilities in Switzerland, which operate according to EU and FDA health and environmental requirements.

"We are thrilled at this important opportunity to increase Helsinn\'s value with a direct presence in the major pharmaceutical market of the world," said Riccardo Braglia, ceo of the Helsinn Group. The acquisition of Sapphire Therapeutics will also allow us to expand our current pipeline of products in existing, focused therapeutic areas."

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Sapphire Therapeutics was founded in 2000 and is focused on developing first-in-class, composition-of-matter protected products for the treatment of a variety of cancer, gastrointestinal and metabolic conditions.

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