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Treatment for Nausea/Vomiting -- Chemotherapy Induced

MGI Pharma and Helsinn Announce Aloxi sNDA for PONV Accepted for Review By U.S. FDA

MINNEAPOLIS--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Jul 9, 2007 - MGI Pharma, Inc. (Nasdaq: MOGN), a bioPharmaceutical company focused in oncology and acute care, and its partner Helsinn Healthcare SA, a privately owned Swiss Pharmaceutical group, today announced that the supplemental New Drug Application (sNDA) for Aloxi (palonosetron hydrochloride) Injection for the prevention of post-operative nausea and vomiting was accepted for filing by the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Aloxi is approved by the FDA for the prevention of acute nausea and vomiting associated with initial and repeat courses of moderately and highly emetogenic cancer chemotherapy and for the prevention of delayed nausea and vomiting associated with initial and repeat courses of moderately emetogenic cancer chemotherapy.

The sNDA for Aloxi Injection was submitted to the FDA on May 7, 2007. The acceptance for review of the NDA represents the FDA's determination that the application is sufficiently complete to permit a substantive review of the data. The filing of the application by the FDA does not represent any opinion regarding the safety, efficacy or approvability of Aloxi Injection. Under PDUFA (Prescription Drug User Fee Act) III, the FDA's goal is to review and act on the NDA by March 4, 2008.

The sNDA included data from two randomized, multi-center, phase 3 trials conducted to evaluate the safety and efficacy of three doses of Aloxi compared to placebo for the prevention of PONV. In these two trials, a total of 1,219 patients undergoing elective outpatient abdominal or gynecological laparoscopic surgery (Study PALO-04-06) or elective inpatient gynecological or breast surgery (Study PALO-04-07) were randomized to receive one of three single intravenous doses of Aloxi or placebo prior to administration of anesthesia. Data were collected to examine the effectiveness and safety of Aloxi during the time course of patient risk for nausea and vomiting, regardless of inpatient or outpatient site of postoperative care on the day of surgery and for two more days (0-72 hrs). Both clinical trials successfully met the primary efficacy endpoint of complete response, defined as no emesis or use of rescue medication, for the 0-24 hour time period and the key secondary efficacy endpoint of complete response for the entire 0-72 hour time period following surgery, for the proposed dose of 0.075 mg. The incidence, pattern, and intensity of adverse events were similar among all treatment groups including placebo, and the most frequently observed side effects were headache and constipation.

About Post-Operative Nausea and Vomiting (PONV)

Post-operative nausea and vomiting are common consequences of anesthetic and surgical procedures, frequently occurring immediately following the procedure and up to 72 hours post procedure. In the United States, nearly 30 million doses of 5-HT3 receptor antagonists are used annually for the management of PONV. Patients undergoing abdominal, gynecological, ear/nose/throat, or optical procedures are at highest risk for PONV. Additional factors that can increase the risk for PONV include female gender, non-smoking status, prior history of PONV or motion sickness, length of surgery and the use of volatile anesthetics and opioids. If not prevented, PONV can result in hospital re-admissions and increased healthcare costs in approximately 58% of patients who undergo surgery.

About Aloxi Injection

Aloxi is currently being evaluated in a clinical program designed to evaluate its safety and efficacy in post-operative nausea and vomiting, but it is not approved for this indication. Aloxi is approved by the U.S. FDA for the prevention of acute nausea and vomiting associated with initial and repeat courses of moderately and highly emetogenic cancer chemotherapy and for the prevention of delayed nausea and vomiting associated with initial and repeat courses of moderately emetogenic cancer chemotherapy. Aloxi is the first and only 5-HT3 receptor antagonist to be indicated for the prevention of delayed chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting (CINV) caused by moderately emetogenic cancer chemotherapy. The most common adverse reactions related to Aloxi were headache (9%) and constipation (5%). Please see the Aloxi package insert, available and, for important additional details.

About Helsinn Healthcare

Helsinn Healthcare SA is a privately owned Pharmaceutical group with headquarters in Switzerland and is the worldwide licensor of palonosetron. Helsinn's core business is the licensing of Pharmaceuticals in therapeutic niche areas. The company's business strategy is to in-license early stage new chemical entities and complete their development from the performance of pre-clinical/clinical studies and CMC development to the attainment of market approvals in strategic markets (U.S. and Europe). Helsinn's products are eventually out-licensed to its marketing partners for distribution. The active Pharmaceutical ingredients and the finished dosage forms are manufactured at Helsinn's cGMP facilities and supplied worldwide to its customers. For more information about Helsinn, please visit the company's Web site at

About MGI Pharma

MGI Pharma, Inc. is a bioPharmaceutical company focused in oncology and acute care that acquires, researches, develops, and commercializes proprietary products that address the unmet needs of patients. MGI Pharma markets Aloxi (palonosetron hydrochloride) Injection, Dacogen (decitabine) for Injection, and Gliadel Wafer (polifeprosan 20 with carmustine implant) in the United States. The Company directly markets its products in the U.S. and collaborates with partners to reach international markets. For more information about MGI Pharma, please visit

This news release contains certain "forward-looking" statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These statements are typically preceded by words such as "believes," "expects," "anticipates," "intends," "will," "may," "should," or similar expressions. These forward-looking statements are not guarantees of MGI Pharma's future performance and involve a number of risks and uncertainties that may cause actual results to differ materially from the results discussed in these statements. Factors that might cause MGI Pharma's results to differ materially from those expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements include, but are not limited to, the ability of MGI Pharma to continue to increase sales of its marketed products, the ability to successfully commercialize Saforis(TM) / the ability for MGI Pharma to respond to the FDA's approvable letter, the successful completion of clinical trials for the Company's other product candidates, and other risks and uncertainties detailed from time to time in MGI Pharma's filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission including its most recently filed Form 10-K and Form 10-Q. MGI Pharma undertakes no duty to update any of these forward-looking statements.


Financial Dynamics
Robert Stanislaro, 212-850-5657
Helsinn Healthcare SA
Rachid Benhamza, Ph.D.
Director, Business Unit Oncology and
Cancer Supportive Care

Posted: July 2007

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