Helsinn officially opens R&D Centre of Excellence in Dublin

Published: 1-Sep-2010

Will play significant role in pipeline of new Helsinn products

Swiss pharmaceutical group Helsinn has opened its new €13m R&D Centre of Excellence in Mulhuddart, Co. Dublin, Ireland.

The centre, opened by Brian Lenihan, Irish Minister for Finance, is expected to play a significant role in Helsinn Group's pipeline of new products. These include the NK-1 inhibitor Netupitant for the treatment of emesis due to chemotherapy, and the novel ghrelin analogue Anamorelin for the treatment of cachexia.

Up to 10 research jobs will be created at the Centre over the next few years.

Helsinn announced its plans to establish the facility in April 2009, and the plant is now ready to start production. It will be responsible for Research & Development for Oral Solid Dosage (OSD) at the company’s Helsinn Birex Pharmaceuticals facility at Mulhuddart, which currently produces a range of drug products.

Riccardo Braglia, chief executive of the Helsinn Group, said the R&D Centre had been completed on time and in budget and would be of ‘significant benefit’ for the future of the Group’s international business.

Helsinn's Irish operation was established in 1990, when it acquired Birex Pharmaceuticals in Dublin. To date the company has invested more than €60m in Ireland.

A total of 145 people are employed at the Helsinn Birex Pharmaceuticals facility from which the Group supplies global markets with a range of products including Palonosetron for the treatment of chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting, as well as Nimesulide (anti-inflammatory) and Klean-Prep(R) (pre-colonoscopy treatment).

‘This investment is highly significant for Ireland as it places Helsinn's Irish operation at the centre of Helsinn Group's worldwide R&D operations,’ said Lenihan.

The Helsinn Group has a workforce of around 450 people in Switzerland, Ireland and the US and had a turnover of €232m in 2009.

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