DUBLIN, December 16 /PRNewswire/ -- Helsinn, the Swiss pharmaceutical group, announced today that its Dublin plant, Helsinn Birex Pharmaceuticals (HBP), has been awarded the Irish 2009 Responsible Care(R) Award for Waste Management by PharmaChemical Ireland, the industry association representing the Irish chemical and pharmaceutical sector.

Environmental protection is key to Helsinn and to Helsinn staff, said Riccardo Braglia, CEO of Helsinn Group. Since our foundation, we have been committed to excellent health, safety and environmental management in all our plants worldwide. The Responsible Care Award is one in a series of acknowledgements we have received in this area so far, he concluded. The Helsinn project, which involved the application of lean manufacturing concepts, was cited as an excellent demonstration of waste minimisation and recycling involving strong employee engagement. It encompassed two aspects of waste management, the reduction of waste at source by developing a solution to recycle the waste internally, and a scientific evaluation of a waste stream to optimise the safest means of disposal.

Responsible Care(R) is the chemical industry's global voluntary initiative under which companies, through their national associations, work together to continuously improve their health, safety and environmental performance, and to communicate with stakeholders about their products and processes.

The Responsible Care(R) ethic helps industry to operate safely, profitably and with due care for future generations, and was commended by UNEP as making a significant contribution to sustainable development at the World Summit on Sustainable Development in 2002.

About the Helsinn Group

Helsinn is a privately owned pharmaceutical group with headquarters in Lugano, Switzerland. Helsinn's unique business model is focused on the licensing of pharmaceuticals and medical devices in therapeutic niche areas. The Group in-licenses early stage new chemical entities, completes their development from the performance of pre-clinical/clinical studies and Chemistry, Manufacturing and Control (CMC) development, to the filing for and attainment of their market approval worldwide.

Helsinn's products are sold directly, through the Group subsidiaries, or eventually out-licensed to its network of local marketing and commercial partners, selected for their deep in-market knowledge and know-how, and assisted and supported with a full range of product and scientific management services, including commercial, regulatory, financial, legal and medical marketing advice.

The active pharmaceutical ingredients and the finished dosage forms are manufactured at Helsinn's cGMP facilities in Switzerland and Ireland, and supplied worldwide to its customers.

Helsinn is the worldwide licensor of palonosetron, a second generation 5-HT3 receptor antagonist, for the prevention of chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting (CINV) and of post-operative nausea and vomiting (PONV) in patients with cancer, and of the original nimesulide, a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) distributed in more than 50 countries worldwide.

Helsinn, with a workforce of around 450 employees in Switzerland, Ireland and USA, reported a 2008 turnover of over CHF 280.3 million (about EUR 178 million), covering 75 countries worldwide, with over 20% of this turnover invested in RD.

Contact person at Helsinn Healthcare SA: Paola Bonvicini Head of Communication Press Office Tel: +41-91-985-21-21 info-hhc@helsinn.com

SOURCE: Helsinn Healthcare SA

CONTACT: Contact person at Helsinn Healthcare SA: Paola Bonvicini, Head ofCommunication Press Office, Tel: +41-91-985-21-21, info-hhc@helsinn.com