Top Stories

Helsinn Group and Chugai Pharma Marketing Enter Into Agreement for Marketing Rights of Netupitant-Palonosetron Fixed-Dose Combination

Posted: 17th July 2014 11:37
Helsinn, the Swiss Group focused on building quality cancer care, and Chugai Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd. today announced that exclusive rights to NEPA, an investigational oral fixed-dose combination of netupitant and palonosetron being evaluated for the prevention of chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting (CINV), have been granted to Chugai Pharma Marketing Ltd., a wholly owned subsidiary of Chugai, in the UK and Ireland. Chugai has also been granted the exclusive right to market the palonosetron monotherapy, Aloxi, in the UK as from January 1st, 2015.

NEPA is a fixed-dose combination of a novel NK1receptor antagonist (Netupitant) and the best-in-class 5-HT3receptor antagonist palonosetron. It is currently in the registration phase in both the USA and Europe for the prevention of Chemotherapy Induced Nausea and Vomiting (CINV) in humans in the oncology field.
One of the components of NEPA is palonosetron, the market-leading treatment for CINV in patients with cancer. Palonosetron worldwide sales in 2013 were around USD 625 million (IMS data). The product is marketed and available in over 65 countries worldwide under the brand names of Aloxi®, Onicit®and Paloxi®.
In the phase 2 and phase 3 clinical trials NEPA demonstrated that it provides a significant improvement in the prevention of acute and delayed CINV when compared to oral palonosetron. Clinical data have been published in peer reviewed medical journals and presented in several international congresses such as the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) and the Multinational Association of Supportive Care in Cancer (MASCC).
Chugai is already one of Helsinn's partners for anamorelin, a new first-in-class, once daily ghrelin receptor agonist, currently in phase 3 trials for the treatment of Cancer Anorexia Cachexia Syndrome (CACS) in non-small cell lung cancer, in seven EU countries includingGermany, France, Belgium, Netherlands, Luxemburg, the UK and Ireland.
Under the terms of the new agreement, Helsinn retains all development activities and the supply of both NEPA and palonosetron for commercial use, as well as regulatory and clinical development. Chugai will be responsible for all marketing activities in the designated territories.

Riccardo Braglia, CEO of Helsinn Group, said: "Helsinn is delighted to sign this additional agreement with Chugai, extending our scope of work to the area of CINV on top of our agreement in CACS. To be able to work with the same partner in the UK and Ireland helps us to create significant synergies across these regions when marketing the products. This agreement will allow Helsinn's products to reach more cancer patients and help to deliver a better quality of life*. It is rare that patients only suffer a single side effect from chemotherapy and this alliance means that we can offer physicians a wider choice of products, to treat patients and help them achieve a better quality of life and potentially better outcomes."

Chugai's continuing partnership with Helsinn has led to further collaborations in the European market and we are pleased with the announcement that Chugai will introduce Helsinn's novel new treatment for the treatment of CINV, NEPA in the UK and Ireland. In addition to NEPA, Aloxi, an important drug for the prevention of CINV, will now be distributed in the UK by Chugai from 2015. Chugai has a strong presence in the oncology supportive care market in the UK and Ireland, and the future addition for Helsinn's novel medicines with strong supporting data will enhance our presence in this field giving physician and patients more treatment choices' said John Halls, Managing Director of Chugai Pharma Marketing.

* Lorusso V et al. Support care Cancer 2009; 17(12): 1469-73 

Related articles