Helsinn Group was founded as Biex Solaris by Gabriele Braglia in 1976 in Chiasso, Switzerland. The Group is still steered and managed by the Braglia family. In three decades, Helsinn has grown from a half floor of offices to a multinational operating company selling its products through distributors in 87 countries worldwide. The Helsinn Group has a workforce of around 455 employees in Switzerland, Ireland and USA, and has invested approximately 21% of the turnover in Research & Development in the last 5 years.
Milestones in Helsinn’s recent history:
1980 - Worldwide licensing agreement is signed with 3M Pharmaceuticals for nimesulide, a leading non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID).
1983 - Helsinn Chemicals SA, Group’s first manufacturing plant, opens in Biasca, Switzerland.
1985 - Nimesulide is launched on the market.
1990 - Acquisition of the Irish pharmaceutical company, now Helsinn Birex Pharmaceuticals Ltd.
1998 - Worldwide licensing agreement is signed with Syntex-Roche for palonosetron, second generation 5-HT3 receptor antagonist indicated for Chemotherapy-Induced Nausea and Vomiting (CINV) and Post-Operative Nausea (PONV).
1999 - Helsinn Advanced Synthesis S.A, second Swiss manufacturing plant, is founded in Biasca.
2003 - Palonosetron is launched in the USA.
2005 - Palonosetron is launched in EU; netupitant, compound under development for the prevention of CINV and the treatment of overactive bladder, in-licensed from Roche.
2008 - Partnering agreement is signed with Zealand Pharma, Denmark, for the development and world-wide commercialization of the novel GLP-2 agonist for Chemotherapy-Induced Diarrhea (CID), elsiglutide.
2009 - US biotech company Sapphire Therapeutics Inc., is acquired to establish the US-based R&D and commercial operation, Helsinn Therapeutics (U.S.), Inc.
2010 - Helsinn Chemicals SA, Biasca, Switzerland and Helsinn Advanced Synthesis SA, Biasca, Switzerland merger. The manufacturing facility is now called Helsinn Advanced Synthesis SA.
Helsinn's leading product, palonosetron, is successfully launched in Japan.
Additional premises for Helsinn Group headquarters open in Pambio-Noranco/Lugano, Switzerland.
A new R&D centre of excellence open at Helsinn Birex Pharmaceuticals, Dublin, Ireland.
Cluster of Amino Acids, an integrative-supportive product in cancer Supportive Care for unintended loss of body weight and muscle acquired from Professional Dietetics.
2011 - Helsinn Group makes an equity investment for a minority interest in Thorne research, Inc. and plans to jointly commercialize nutritional supplement products with initial focus on meeting the needs of people living with cancer.
New analytical laboratories open at Helsinn Birex Pharmaceuticals LTD, Dublin, Ireland.
A new full service cytotoxic plant is being completed at the group's manufacturing facility, Helsinn Advanced Synthesis SA, Biasca, Switzerland.
Helsinn receives the prestigious "2011 Entrepreneur in Italian-Speaking Switzerland" award and is also awarded the Ernst & Young as one of the top three 2011 companies in the High Tech/Life Sciences category in Switzerland.