MD Anderson and Helsinn Healthcare SA enter strategic alliance to improve life of patients conducting clinical studies in cancer supportive and palliative care

The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center and Helsinn, a Swiss pharmaceutical group focused on building quality cancer care, today announced that they signed a strategic alliance on a broad, multi-years program of clinical studies in cancer supportive and palliative care.

Under the terms of the collaboration agreement, MD Anderson will conduct 14 clinical studies into Helsinn programs with enrollment projects of 420 patients. The collaboration aims to investigate new uses and better outcomes for these programs for people with cancer in the supportive and palliative settings. This relationship will leverage MD Anderson’s significant clinical expertise and access to world recognized key opinion leaders, providing Helsinn with an unparalleled network of oncology specialists.

The collaboration will focus on six major disease areas: fatigue, anorexia/cachexia, diarrhea, chronic nausea, pruritus and chemotherapy-induced neuropathic pain in a five-year timeframe.

“MD Anderson is among the world’s most prestigious cancer hospital networks with an unparalleled clinical capability,” said Riccardo Braglia, group vice chairman and CEO at Helsinn. “At Helsinn, we are committed to finding ways to offer people with cancer the best possible quality of life. We believe that this collaboration will allow us to explore new outcomes for our existing commercialized products and to explore alternative uses for our pipeline programs to maximize our chances of being able to offer new, innovative solutions to people with cancer.”

“There is a great opportunity to develop new and effective drugs to treat the main symptoms caused by cancer, such as weight loss, fatigue, nausea, pain, pruritus, diarrhea and anorexia/cachexia,” said Eduardo Bruera, M.D., chair of Palliative, Rehabilitation & Integrative Medicine at MD Anderson. “There is also a great opportunity to develop drugs to treat the side effects of emerging and highly effective new targeted and immunological treatments for cancer patients.”