LUGANO, Switzerland, January 11 /PRNewswire/ -- Riccardo Braglia has been confirmed as CEO of the Helsinn Group. His role will focus on the Group's fundamental strategic tasks, including internal and external growth, and new market opening. Riccardo Braglia will also directly take care of the US market-direct sales project at Helsinn Therapeutics USA, the latter coordinated by Andrea Meoli, who has been confirmed Chief Commercial Officer.

Gabriele Braglia, Founder of the Helsinn Group retains his role as Group's Chairman of the Board of Directors. Giorgio Calderari, formerly Chief Operating Officer, has been promoted to Group General Manager and will report directly to the Group's CEO with the responsibility of managing and co-ordinating the Corporate functions, including Business Development assigned to Roberto De Ponti, Research Development assigned to the newly appointed Chief Scientific Officer Sergio Cantoreggi, Technical Affairs managed by Daniele Bonadeo, Commercial under Andrea Meoli, and Manufacturing run by Paolo Guainazzi and Padraig Somers.

Luigi Caletti, confirmed as Chief Financial Officer, and Matteo Missaglia, appointed Head of Corporate Legal Affairs will report directly to Riccardo Braglia.

About 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

SOURCE: Helsinn Healthcare SA

CONTACT: Contact person at Helsinn Healthcare SA: Paola Bonvicini, Head ofCommunication Press Office, Tel: +41-91-985-21-21,