LINK Healthcare Partners With Sigma Tau Group

by / Thursday, 25 July 2013 / Published in News

LINK Healthcare Partners With Sigma Tau Group For Regional Distribution Rights To Rare Disease Therapeutics

• Exclusive agreement to distribute  in selected countries of  Africa, Asia and Australasia:  Oncaspar® for the treatment of acute lymphoblastic leukemia; Adagen® for adenosine deaminase-severe combined immunodeficiency disease and Cystaran™ for ocular cystinosis

• Territory rights expanded for Natulan™ for the treatment of Hodgkin’s lymphoma to include selected countries of Africa and Asia

London/Gaithersburg/Pomezia/Singapore/Sydney/Pretoria/Tokyo/Auckland:  29 July 2013.

Specialist pharmaceutical and medical technologies business, LINK Healthcare (‘LINK’) is pleased to announce that it has signed an exclusive agreement with companies of the Sigma Tau Group for the distribution of the Sigma-Tau drugs Oncaspar®, Adagen® and Cystaran™, in selected countries of Africa, Asia and Australasia.

In addition, LINK has been granted expanded rights for Natulan™ in selected countries of Asia and Africa. The agreement further strengthens the existing partnership between the two organisations under which LINK has been marketing Natulan™ for more than a decade in Australia.

LINK will work with specialists and patient groups to ensure the availability of these products to patients in the region and in some territories will seek orphan drug designation and registration.

Global Head of Rare Disease Franchise of Sigma-Tau, Marco Brughera, said:

“The health of patients is our highest priority, and we are very pleased to extend our reach to patients impacted by rare diseases in the Africa, Asia and Australasian region through our partnership with LINK.”

Executive Chairman of LINK Healthcare, John Bacon, commented:

“We are honoured to extend our existing partnership with Sigma Tau and proud to be able to add to our portfolio these new rare disease drugs, several of which are the global standard of therapy. Through this agreement with Sigma-Tau, we will now be able to provide these vital therapies for patient populations in geographies that might not otherwise have access to them.”

About the Drugs

Oncaspar ® (pegaspargase) is the only available PEGylated formulation of L-asparaginase.  It has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and in some EU countries and works by starving leukemic cells of asparagine ultimately resulting in leukemic cell death while normal cells are unaffected. For the last 25 years, L-asparaginase has been an important component in the treatment of acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL). ALL is the most common form of leukemia found in children, representing 23 percent of cancer diagnoses in children under age 15.

Adagen® (pegademase bovine) injection is the only commercially approved enzyme replacement therapy for adenosine deaminase (ADA) deficiency in patients with severe combined immunodeficiency disease (SCID) who are not suitable candidates for – or who have failed – bone marrow transplantation. SCID or “bubble boy” syndrome is a primary immune deficiency caused by several different genetic defects in the immune system that can be fatal by two years of age. ADA-SCID accounts for approximately 10%-20% of the total of all SCID cases, and its estimated incidence ranges from 1 in every 200,000 to 1 in every 1,000,000 live births.

Cystaran™ (cysteamine ophthalmic solution) 0.44% is the first and only FDA-approved therapy for the treatment of corneal cystine crystal accumulation in patients with cystinosis, a rare metabolic disease which affects approximately 2,000 individuals worldwide. The FDA approved Cystaran™ for the treatment of this painful and debilitating eye condition in October 2012.

Natulan™ (procarbazine hydrochloride) capsules are used in combination with other anticancer agents to treat adults and children with advanced Hodgkin’s lymphoma (a type of blood cancer). Hodgkin’s lymphoma is a less common lymphoma, making up less than 1% of cancers in the United States. It occurs mainly in young adults (usually between 16 and 34 years old) and older people (over age 55).


Contact LINK Healthcare on 61 (2) 8401 9777

Corporate and Media Enquiries:   Mr John Bacon     Executive Chairman

Sigma-Tau Contact: Bruno Chiavazzo


About LINK Healthcare (Australia, New Zealand, Southern Africa, Singapore & Japan)

LINK Healthcare is a privately owned specialist pharmaceutical and medical technologies business. LINK’s mission is to strive for excellence in the marketing of vitally important and unique range of specialists products that enhance the well-being of people throughout the regions of Australia, New Zealand, Asia and Southern Africa.

LINK provides exceptional regulatory, sales, marketing, customer service and supply chain infrastructure and is partnered with major blue chip pharmaceutical companies from around the world, allowing the company to offer a unique and substantial portfolio of ‘medicine that matters.’

LINK Healthcare has an extensive range of prescription pharmaceuticals in essential therapeutic areas including Allergy, Anaphylaxis, Analgesia/Anaesthesia, Anti-infective, Anti-retroviral, Cardiology, Endocrinology, ENT, Gastroenterology, Intensive care, Metabolic disease, Neurology, Oncology, Orphan Drugs, Palliative care, Psychiatry, Radiography, Transplantation and Toxicology.

For more information about LINK Healthcare visit

About Sigma-Tau Group

Sigma-Tau is a leading, Italian capital, international pharmaceutical group that invests in the research, development and marketing of innovative and effective treatments to improve human well-being and quality of life. Sigma-Tau Group has headquarters in Pomezia (Rome, Italy), and subsidiaries in the USA, EU and China, and production plants in Italy as well as in Spain and US (Indianapolis). With over 2000 employees and an extensive network of licensees worldwide, Sigma-Tau achieved a global turnover of € 688 million in 2012.

A dedicated Global Rare Disease Franchise was recently established to focus on the global development and commercialization of medicines for patients with rare diseases. The products are dedicated to onco-hematological diseases and certain genetic disorders. With more than 7,000 identified rare diseases, Sigma-Tau places its considerable scientific resources behind the development and commercialization of compounds that benefit the few. The R&D projects in the pipeline are currently focused on the following therapeutic areas: Rare and Neglected Diseases, Oncology/Immuno-oncology, Biotechnology and at line extensions. Sigma-Tau R&D is also active in Nutraceuticals and Medical Food.

For further information about Sigma-Tau visit