Skip to content

Orion Corporation and Nycomed to collaborate on Easyhaler® for asthma and COPD

PRESS RELEASE 4 August 2011 at 10.00 EEST

Orion Corporation (Nasdaq OMX Helsinki: ORNAV and ORNBV) announced today that it has entered into a collaboration agreement with Nycomed for the co-marketing of Easyhaler® combination products for the treatment of asthma and COPD in the major European countries and an exclusive license and distribution arrangement for the Middle East and North Africa region (MENA). Both companies will commercialise Easyhaler combination products under their own brands accompanied by the Easyhaler umbrella brand.

The agreement covers Orion's new Easyhaler combination products for treatment of asthma and COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease). Orion is developing a budesonide-formoterol formulation that combines budesonide as an anti-inflammatory agent and formoterol as a long-acting bronchodilator. In addition, Orion has another Easyhaler® research programme in progress to develop a fluticasone-salmeterol formulation. In this formulation fluticasone acts as an anti-inflammatory agent and salmeterol acts as a long-acting bronchodilator. Both these combination products are included in the co-marketing agreement.

Respiratory is a key strategic area for Nycomed, including the COPD treatment Daxas® (roflumilast), Alvesco® (ciclesonide) for asthma, and Omnaris® for allergic rhinitis. The collaboration with Nycomed reinforces Orion's presence throughout Europe and is in line with Orion's strategy to strengthen its marketing position in Europe and the sales coverage through partnerships. The co-marketing area - in which both companies present their own product brands under the Easyhaler umbrella brand - covers the major European countries including Austria, the Benelux countries, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Poland, Portugal, Spain and Switzerland. Orion will retain exclusive marketing rights for the Nordic countries, U.K. and Eastern Europe where the company is currently promoting single molecule Easyhaler products. Orion will exclusively manufacture the Easyhaler combination products covered by the agreement.

Dr. Liisa Hurme, Senior Vice President of Orion's Proprietary Products division, commented:

"I am excited about the collaboration agreement and look forward to having such a strong partner focusing on the treatment of asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. The collaboration creates a momentum for Easyhaler products in Europe and strengthens Orion's strategic objective to become a stronger player in the field of respiratory medication."

Guido Oelkers, Executive Vice President Commercial Operations, Nycomed, commented:

"We are very pleased to have signed this collaboration agreement with Orion. We see great potential in these high quality Easyhaler products in major European countries and the MENA region. They will significantly enhance Nycomed's fast-growing Respiratory portfolio."

About Easyhaler®

Orion's portfolio of proprietary products includes Easyhaler®, an in-house developed dry-powder inhaler. Orion has developed Easyhaler-adapted dry powder formulations of several well-known generic active substances (salbutamol, beclometasone, budesonide, formoterol) used in the treatment of asthma and COPD. At the moment under development are new combined formulations of budesonide-formoterol, and fluticasone-salmeterol for the treatment of asthma and COPD.

About Orion

Orion is an innovative European R&D-based pharmaceutical and diagnostic company with a special emphasis on developing medicinal treatments and diagnostic tests for global markets. Orion develops, manufactures and markets human and veterinary pharmaceuticals, active pharmaceutical ingredients and diagnostic tests. Orion's pharmaceutical R&D focuses on the following core therapy areas: central nervous system drugs, cancer and critical care drugs, and Easyhaler® pulmonary drugs.

The Group's net sales in 2010 amounted to approximately EUR 850 million. The Company invested EUR 85 million in research and development. At the end of 2010, the Group had a total of approximately 3,100 employees, of whom 2,450 worked in Finland and 650 in other countries. Orion's A and B shares are listed on NASDAQ OMX Helsinki. For more information visit:

About Nycomed

Nycomed is a privately owned global pharmaceutical company with a diversified portfolio focused on branded medicines in gastroenterology, respiratory and inflammatory diseases, pain, osteoporosis and tissue management. A range of OTC products completes the portfolio. Its R&D is structured around collaborations. In-licensing and expanding in emerging markets are cornerstones of the company's growth strategy.

Nycomed employs 12,500 associates worldwide, and its products are sold in more than 100 countries. It has strong platforms in Europe and in fast-growing markets such as Russia/CIS, Latin America, Asia and the Middle East. In the US and Japan its products are available through best in class partners. Headquartered in Zurich, Switzerland, the company generated total sales of € 3.2 billion in 2010 and an adjusted EBITDA of € 851 million. For more information visit:
Orion Corporation

Contact persons:
Orion Corporation:  Dr. Liisa Hurme, Senior Vice President, Proprietary Products
tel. +358 50 966 2874

Nycomed: Tobias Cottmann, Director External Communications
tel. +41 44 555 1510
Jonathan Birt, Financial Dynamics tel. +44 7515597858

Orion Corporation
Orionintie 1A, FI-02200 Espoo