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Press Release


Posted on: 11 Oct 16

~ New fund backed by the Helsinn Group, focused on supporting early stage opportunities in areas of high unmet patient need ~


~ HIF has invested $3.5 million in OncoResponse, an immuno-oncology antibody discovery company ~


Lugano, Switzerland, October 10, 2016: Helsinn Investment Fund S.A, a fund focused on early-stage investments in areas of high unmet patient need, today announces that on September 23rd, 2016, it made a $3.5 million investment in OncoResponse, a private US-based immuno-oncology antibody discovery company backed by investors including the MD Anderson Cancer Center and Baxalta (now part of Shire Pharmaceuticals). The Helsinn Investment Fund is incorporated in Luxembourg and fully owned by the Helsinn Group.


The investment by Helsinn Investment Fund will support OncoResponse’s ongoing efforts to interrogate the humoral response of elite responders to cancer immunotherapy to identify antibodies and potential targets for novel therapeutics. Helsinn Investment Fund will have a seat on the Board of OncoResponse.


OncoResponse uses a validated platform technology to rapidly screen antibodies made by the human immune system and identify those with exceptional reactivity to cancer immunotherapy. The company has an ongoing strategic alliance with the MD Anderson Cancer Center, which provides access to patient samples and oncology and translational medicine expertise including clinical and regulatory input.


The investment is one of a series of early-stage investments made by Helsinn Investment Fund, a new fund set up by the Helsinn Group. The fund has been set up to apply Helsinn’s fundamental core values of quality, integrity and respect, and to draw on 40 years’ expertise in research and development and commercialization of therapeutic candidates in cancer care, pain and inflammation and gastroenterology. The Fund aims to help companies working across a range of areas in healthcare to develop early-stage technologies into commercial solutions that will impact health-related quality of life of patients.



Clifford J. Stocks, CEO of OncoResponse, said: “We’re delighted to welcome Helsinn Investment Fund to an already strong lineup of investors. With the benefit of Helsinn’s 40 years’ expertise in cancer care, we are confident that the fund will be a supportive and insightful investor. OncoResponse is pioneering the identification of rare cancer-fighting antibodies and novel targets that may lead to the development of improved cancer treatments in areas of significant unmet patient need.”


Riccardo Braglia, Helsinn Group Vice Chairman and CEO, commented: OncoResponse is a great example of the kind of pioneering medical innovation which the Helsinn Investment Fund was set up to help support. Its technology, which identifies elite responders to immunotherapy and rapidly screens the adaptive immune system to discover antibodies with exceptional reactivity, has the potential to significantly expand the promise of immunotherapy.

“Helsinn’s 40 years’ experience working to improve the daily lives of people affected by a range of chronic diseases, particularly cancer, has shown us how much we depend on early-stage innovation to drive the next generation of life-changing solutions. We look forward to announcing future investments as we build the portfolio.”

About Helsinn Investment Fund


The Helsinn Investment Fund is focused on early-stage investments in areas of high unmet patient need. Backed by the Helsinn Group, and guided by Helsinn’s core values of quality, integrity and respect, Helsinn Investment Fund aims to help companies with innovative technologies to transform new ideas into commercial solutions with the potential to impact health-related quality of life of patients.


Drawing on Helsinn’s 40 years of investment into research and development and commercial expertise, the investment fund selects companies with technologies in a range of areas including cancer therapeutics and diagnostics, cancer supportive care, metabolic and gastrointestinal disorders, and dermatology conditions.

For more information, visit



About Helsinn Group

Helsinn is a privately owned cancer supportive care pharmaceutical group with an extensive portfolio of marketed products and a broad development pipeline.  Since 1976, Helsinn has been improving the everyday lives of patients, guided by core family values of respect, integrity and quality, through a unique integrated licensing business model working with long standing partners in pharmaceutical, medical device and dietary supplement. Helsinn is headquartered in Lugano, Switzerland, with operating subsidiaries in Ireland and the US (Helsinn Therapeutics), a representative office in China, as well as a product presence in about 90 countries globally.

For more information, please visit


About OncoResponse

OncoResponse mines the human adaptive immune system to discover therapeutic antibodies against novel immuno-oncology targets. By identifying candidates from the immune systems of patients who have responded exceptionally well to cancer immunotherapies, OncoResponse has the potential to increase the success rate of these therapies across multiple cancer types.

For more information, please visit


For more information, please contact:

Helsinn Group

Paola Bonvicini

Head of Communication & Press Office

+41 91-985-21-21


Consilium Strategic Communications

Mary-Jane Elliott, Matthew Neal, Jessica Hodgson, Laura Thornton, Cameron Standage

+44 203 709 5700


OncoResponse, Inc.

Casey Doucette

MacDougall Biomedical Communications


Editor's Details

Mike Wood

Last updated on: 11/10/2016

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