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Helsinn Announces the Acquisition of Sapphire Therapeutics Inc., USA to Establish Helsinn Therapeutics (US) Inc.
Date:1/28/2009

LUGANO, Switzerland, January 28 /PRNewswire/ -- Today the Swiss pharmaceutical group Helsinn announced the acquisition, of the US biopharmaceutical company, Sapphire Therapeutics Inc. with headquarters 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. "We are thrilled at this very 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, in particular in Cancer Supportive Care. This is a major step forward for the growth of Helsinn into the future with the new subsidiary Helsinn Therapeutics (US) Inc.," he concluded.

Sapphire Therapeutics Inc. 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. "Sapphire Therapeutics Inc. and its staff have proven pharma and biotech expertise and all of us are extremely excited of becoming part of the Helsinn Group," commented William J. Polvino, CEO of Sapphire Therapeutics (US) Inc.

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. to manage all of the existing staff who will be maintained and strengthened.

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

- 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 ef
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SOURCE Helsinn Healthcare SA
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