Debiopharm S.A. announces the purchase of all outstanding shares of H3 Pharma

Lausanne, Switzerland, March 1, 2005 – Debiopharm S.A., the independent drug development company specialising in oncology, endocrinology and niche products, announced today that it has purchased all the outstanding shares of H3 Pharma from Montreal-based Société Générale de Financement du Québec (SGF).

H3 Pharma is a drug development company that was created in Montreal in June 2001, as the result of an equal partnership between SGF and the Debio Group. Since then, H3 Pharma has undergone an additional recapitalisation and holds shares in a German biotech company specialising in human antibodies for cancer therapy. Among H3 Pharma’s portfolio of products is Sanvar® , which in December 2004 received an approvable letter for its New Drug Application (NDA) from the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA). SC-1, a monoclonal IgM antibody with human data that targets CD55SC-1, a cell surface receptor that is specifically expressed on human gastric carcinoma cells, is another of H3 Pharma’s promising pipeline products.

“We had a good partnership with SGF and have learnt a lot from this experience,” said Rolland-Yves Mauvernay, President and CEO of Debiopharm. “We are happy with how H3 Pharma has developed over the last three years.”

Loïc Maurel, President and CEO of H3 Pharma added: “Debio has been an active shareholder of H3 Pharma since our inception. This positive move consolidates H3 Pharma’s objective to be a leading drug development company in the pharma industry. We look forward to working even more closely with the Debio companies.”

About Debiopharm SA
Debio is an established group of four complementary companies, Debiopharm, Debioinnovation, Debio R.P. and Debioclinic. Debiopharm, founded in 1979 in Lausanne, Switzerland, focuses on evaluating compounds with promising in-vivo results in animals to in-license, develop for global registration, and out-license to sales and marketing pharmaceutical partners. Debiopharm has proven expertise in drug development, having registered three products: Eloxatin®, one of sanofi-aventis’ leading marketed products, Decapeptyl®, the leading product of Ipsen, and Trelstar® (1-and 3-month). Together, their combined sales were in excess of $ 1.8 bn in 2004. Debioinnovation was set up to complement the core business objectives of Debiopharm through addressing the financing and partnering needs of biotechnology, pharmaceutical start-up companies and life science incubators. Debio R.P. is a leader in polymer-based controlled release technologies that allow certain drugs like proteins, peptides and anti-cancers to be delivered in customized, sustained-release formulation. From its FDA-inspected manufacturing facility in Martigny, Switzerland, Debio R.P. also conducts feasibility studies, formulation selection, optimization, scale-up and cGMP manufacturing from clinical trial supplies to commercial scale. Debioclinic is a contract research organization, specialized in oncology and dedicated to clinical development, providing regulatory, biometric and clinical support in line with cGCP.
For more information on Debiopharm, please visit the website at

About H3 Pharma
H3 Pharma is a pharmaceutical product development company that focuses on oncology and endocrinology. Extensive internal expertise and world-renowned advisory panels allow H3 Pharma to effectively bridge the gap between innovative products and the global pharmaceutical marketplace. H3 Pharma licenses-in the most promising therapeutic discoveries (post proof-of-concept in humans) and manages the clinical development, intellectual property, global registration and manufacturing logistics prior to out-licensing the products for global commercialization.
For more information on H3 Pharma, please visit the website at