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Johnson & Johnson Honors 2008 Recipients of The Dr. Paul Janssen Award for Biomedical Research
Date:9/10/2008

Feldmann and Maini Honored for Discovery of New Class of Anti-Inflammatory

Drugs

BEERSE, Belgium, Sept. 10 /PRNewswire/ -- The 2008 recipients of The Dr. Paul Janssen Award for Biomedical Research, Professor Marc Feldmann, FMedSci, FAA, FRS and Emeritus Professor Sir Ravinder Maini, FRCP, FMedSci, FRS of the Kennedy Institute of Rheumatology, Imperial College London, are being honored during a scientific symposium today and at a formal award ceremony at the Dr. Paul Janssen Research Center in Beerse, Belgium tomorrow. Feldmann and Maini received the $100,000 prize for their role in the discovery of tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-alpha) as an effective therapeutic target for rheumatoid arthritis and other chronic inflammatory conditions.

"Thanks to their pioneering biomedical research, Feldmann and Maini have significantly improved the lives of millions of patients with chronic inflammatory conditions," said Paul Stoffels, company group chairman, Global Research and Development, Pharmaceuticals, Johnson & Johnson. "We are delighted that the 2008 Dr. Paul Janssen Award is going to two researchers with a lifelong commitment to translational research. Their achievements would have been greatly appreciated by Dr. Paul Janssen, who himself was instrumental in the development of many important medicines."

For more than 20 years, Feldmann and Maini have collaborated on basic research and clinical trials that have transformed the treatment of people diagnosed with chronic inflammatory conditions. Feldmann and Maini investigated the role of cytokines, protein messenger molecules that drive inflammation, and found that a single cytokine, TNF-alpha, was responsible for the debilitating symptoms of inflammatory disease. In seeking ways to block TNF-alpha, they studied a monoclonal antibody previously developed for an unrelated condition. Clinical trials revealed rapid and dramatic improvement of rheumatoid disease a
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