Debiopharm and Mepha sign distribution agreement for Pamorelin® LA 1-3- and 6-month formulations – a new treatment for prostate cancer patients in Switzerland

Lausanne and Aesch, Switzerland, May 11, 2009 – Debiopharm Group (Debiopharm), a global biopharmaceutical development specialist that focuses on serious medical conditions, particularly in the field of oncology, and Mepha Pharma A.G. (Mepha), announce the signature of an exclusive distribution agreement in Switzerland, for the 1- ,3- and 6 month formulations of Pamorelin® LA. The product, which contains the active substance triptorelin pamoate, is indicated for the treatment of prostate cancer, endometriosis, and female infertility. Developed by Debiopharm, Pamorelin® LA is being manufactured at Debio R.P. in Martigny, the Company’s research, development and production facility inspected by Swissmedic and the United States (U.S.) Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Andreas Bosshard, CEO of Mepha, Rolland-Yves Mauvernay, President and Founder of Debiopharm Group and Bertrand Ducrey, CEO of Debio R.P. met in Martigny on the 8th of May for a high-level kick-off meeting. The launch of Pamorelin® LA in Switzerland is expected in mid-2009.

“We are pleased that Mepha has recognised the added value and comfort that Pamorelin® LA will provide for prostate cancer patients in Switzerland,” said Rolland-Yves Mauvernay. “We look forward to launching our product with an experienced Swiss company like Mepha, who has proven expertise in the commercialisation of high quality products.”

“We are happy to be working alongside an innovative drug developer like Debiopharm for the distribution of Pamorelin® LA in Switzerland. This is concurrent to our existing innovative drug-line,” added Andreas Bosshard.

About Pamorelin® LA

Triptorelin, a luteinizing hormone releasing hormone (LHRH) agonist, was licensed-in from Tulane University, in 1982. Debiopharm developed and submitted a 1- and 3-month sustained release formulation of triptorelin pamoate in Europe and the U.S. These formulations of the product are now marketed worldwide under the names Trelstar® in the U.S. and Decapeptyl® / Pamorelin® in Europe, for the treatment of advanced prostate cancer, endometriosis, precocious puberty, in-vitro fertilisation programs, and uterine fibroids.
Debiopharm has also developed a 6-month formulation of triptorelin, which has been submitted to the European and the U.S. regulatory authorities and will be submitted to Swissmedic in Q3 2009.

About Debiopharm Group

Debiopharm Group is a global biopharmaceutical development specialist that in-licenses promising biological and small molecule drug candidates. It develops its products for global registration and maximum commercial potential. Once registered, the products are out-licensed to pharmaceutical partners for sales and marketing.

Debiopharm independently funds the worldwide development of all of its products while providing expertise in pre-clinical and clinical trials, manufacturing, drug delivery and formulation, and regulatory affairs.

Founded in 1979 and headquartered in Lausanne, Switzerland, Debiopharm has developed three products with global combined sales of $2.6 billion in 2008.

Debio R.P., is a pharmaceutical research, development and production facility inspected by the FDA and Swissmedic. Each year, 300’000 patients worldwide are treated with products that are developed or produced there, with a response rate to treatment of 95%. Debio R.P. is part of Debiopharm Group and employs 120 people, of whom half have university or engineering background.
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About Mepha

Mepha is the leading company in the Swiss generic market and is strongly present in all distribution channels (pharmacists, medical doctors, hospitals). Mepha develops and produces attractive medical products and services in Switzerland to enable doctors and pharmacists to treat their patients with high effectiveness and cost awareness. This is achieved by Mepha’s highly motivated employees and innovative spirit, examples of which are as follows. Mepha’s innovative galenics are more readily accepted by patients, so the patient compliance is higher, which makes for a more effective treatment. Mepha exports its pharmaceuticals to more than 50 countries, such as the Baltic States, Poland, Portugal in Europe, to Middle East countries, to West and East-Africa and to Southern and Central America.