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March 22, 2018

Helsinn to purchase skin cancer drug Valchlor from Actelion

Swiss pharmaceutical group Helsinn has signed a definitive agreement with Actelion Pharmaceuticals to obtain worldwide rights to Valchlor/Ledaga (mechlorethamine/chlormethine) for the treatment of mycosis fungoides‐type cutaneous T‐cell lymphoma (MF-CTCL), a rare skin cancer.

Swiss pharmaceutical group Helsinn has signed a definitive agreement with Actelion Pharmaceuticals to obtain worldwide rights to Valchlor/Ledaga (mechlorethamine/chlormethine) for the treatment of mycosis fungoides‐type cutaneous T‐cell lymphoma (MF-CTCL), a rare skin cancer.

Valchlor is an alkylating agent applied topically once a day. The drug has received approval from both the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the European Commission.

Valchlor was launched in the US in 2013 for stages IA and IB MF-CTCL patients who had already had skin directed therapy. Global sales grew from $11m in 2014 to $35m in 2017.

After acquisition, Helsinn US subsidiary Helsinn Therapeutics will be responsible for the drug’s sales via its existing network in the country.

“The products are designed to help people with cancer get the most out of every day and benefit from Valchlor, which is approved and marketed in the US where limited treatment choices are available.”

Valchlor is marketed in the European Union under the brand name Ledaga for the treatment of adults with any stage of MF-CTCL. It is available in France through a temporary authorisation for use programme.

Helsinn Group vice-chairman and CEO Riccardo Braglia said: “Helsinn is committed to developing and marketing products designed to help people with cancer get the most out of every day and benefit from Valchlor, which is approved and marketed in the US where limited treatment choices are available.

“We are excited to be adding this drug to our portfolio of products designed to offer appropriate cancer therapeutic and supportive care treatment options to patients.”

The acquisition is subject to customary closing conditions and is scheduled to be completed in the second quarter of 2018.

Financial details of the deal have not been disclosed.

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