Healthcare Industry News:  Helsinn Healthcare 

Biopharmaceuticals Oncology Licensing

 News Release - October 12, 2006

EKR Therapeutics Acquires Exclusive License for Gelclair(R) from Helsinn Healthcare SA

EKR Launches Initial Product in Portfolio Focused on Oncology Supportive Care

CEDAR KNOLLS, N.J.--(HSMN NewsFeed)--EKR Therapeutics, Inc. has signed an agreement to acquire exclusive North American license and distribution rights for GelclairŽ from Helsinn Healthcare SA, a privately owned pharmaceutical company headquartered in Switzerland. GelclairŽ is the product specifically designed and approved by the FDA for the management of pain associated with oral mucositis / stomatitis.

"This is a significant milestone for EKR," commented Howard Weisman, Chairman & CEO. "GelclairŽ is the first of several planned product acquisitions in the area of oncology supportive care. These types of products are becoming an increasingly essential part of the total care of cancer patients as they help to improve the quality of life while undergoing aggressive treatments in a variety of tumor types."

"We are excited about our partnership with Helsinn, which markets GelclairŽ successfully through top tier companies around the world," says Cathy Kerzner, President & COO. "The acquisition of GelclairŽ coincides with the launch of our US sales force, which will be working with key institutions and private practice physicians to incorporate GelclairŽ into their treatment plans for patients suffering from oral mucositis."

"Helsinn is delighted to enter this new agreement with EKR Therapeutics," said Dr. Riccardo Braglia, Managing Director of Helsinn Healthcare, and is confident that EKR Therapeutics will successfully secure GelclairŽ a first ranking position in the North American market and thereby allow patients in this territory suffering from oral mucositis/stomatitis to benefit from this drug and improve their quality of life.

Gelclair is a bio-adherent oral gel with a mechanical action indicated for the management of pain and relief of pain by adhering to the mucosal surface of the mouth, soothing oral lesions of various etiologies, including oral mucostis/stomatitis which may be caused by chemotherapy or radiation therapy. Oral mucositis has been reported in 15-40% of patients receiving stomatoxic chemotherapy or radiotherapy, 70-90% of stem cell transplant recipients, and 100% of patients receiving head and neck radiotherapy (doses greater than5000 cGy). Severe oral mucositis may result in a reduction in the dose of chemotherapy or a delay in treatment.

About EKR Therapeutics, Inc.

EKR Therapeutics (www.ekrtx.com) was founded to provide prescription products and therapeutic solutions that support and improve the quality of life of cancer patients. As new and increasingly effective therapies emerge, more patients survive cancer. Oncology supportive care is becoming an increasingly critical component in support of patients as they progress through the complex arena of oncology treatment. The management team of EKR believes that cancer survival is largely impacted by the appropriate management of side effects encountered by patients undergoing therapy. EKR Therapeutics is committed to collaborating with the full scope of healthcare practitioners in helping patients adhere to primary treatment through the use of supportive care products.

About Helsinn Healthcare SA

Helsinn Healthcare is a privately owned pharmaceutical group with headquarters in Switzerland and is worldwide licensor of GelclairŽ. Helsinn's core business is the licensing of pharmaceuticals in niche therapeutic areas. The company's business strategy is to in-license early stage new chemical entities and complete their development by performing pre-clinical and clinical studies and CMC development through the attainment of market approval in strategic markets (US and Europe). Helsinn's products are subsequently out-licensed to its marketing partners for distribution. The active pharmaceutical ingredients and the finished dosage forms are manufactured at Helsinn's cGMP facilities and supplied worldwide to its customers. For more information about Helsinn please visit www.helsinn.com


Source: EKR Therapeutics

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