Lugano, Switzerland and Stockholm, Sweden, February 3, 2022 – Helsinn Group (“Helsinn”), a fully integrated, global biopharma company with a diversified pipeline of innovative oncology assets and strong track-record of commercial execution, and AnaCardio, a clinical stage biopharmaceutical company developing novel drugs to treat heart failure, are pleased to announce that AnaCardio has exercised its option to license from Helsinn a program in heart failure, a condition which is associated with poor quality of life, poor prognosis and which remains a major unmet medical need.

Under the terms of the agreement, and upon payment of an undisclosed amount, AnaCardio has exercised its option and obtained an exclusive license from Helsinn for clinical development of the program in heart failure, with potential downstream revenue sharing upon the further license, sale or commercialization of the program.

Following pre-clinical and clinical discovery of a novel mode of action in the cardiovascular and heart failure setting by Prof. Lars Lund, Founder of Anacardio and Professor of Cardiology at the Karolinska Institutet and Karolinska University Hospital, Anacardio intend to initiate a proof-of-concept phase II clinical trial, which is expected to start in mid 2022.

Giorgio Calderari, Helsinn Group CEO “As Helsinn continues to focus on its recently announced Fully Integrated Targeted Therapy (FITT) Strategy developing innovative oncology assets, it is great to see one of our proprietary, non-core, programs being taken forward in a cardiovascular indication. Benefitting from our deep expertise and the comprehensive pre-clinical and phase I data we have generated, Prof. Lund and AnaCardio are ideally placed to continue the clinical development of this program in heart failure. We are looking forward to supporting AnaCardio as it endeavors to develop a new treatment option for patients”

Patrik Strömberg, CEO at AnaCardio: “We are honoured to be collaborating with such an experienced and successful company like Helsinn. This license agreement completes the transformation of AnaCardio into a fully operational, clinical-stage development company, and underscores our commitment to the heart failure community and to develop safe and efficacious treatments for this underserved patient group.”

Prof. Lund commented: “Heart failure is associated with poor quality of life and is among the most common causes of hospitalization and death. We are very excited to have a first-in-class innovative treatment concept, with the potential to improve cardiac contractility, and thus has the ultimate goal to improve symptoms and outcomes both in the immediate setting of acute heart failure, and long term in chronic heart failure.”

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AnaCardio exercises option to license a program in heart failure from Helsinn

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