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Johnson & Johnson Honors 2009 Recipient of The Dr. Paul Janssen Award for Biomedical Research
Date:9/8/2009

BEERSE, Belgium, Sept. 8 /PRNewswire/ -- Johnson & Johnson today honored the career achievements of Axel Ullrich, Ph.D., with the 2009 Dr. Paul Janssen Award for Biomedical Research. Dr. Ullrich received this award for his scientific discoveries that led to innovative new drugs including Herceptin((R)) (trastuzumab)*, a personalized medicine therapy, which was the first to target a specific type of breast cancer. Dr. Ullrich also led the development of the first drug created through gene cloning, a recombinant human insulin for treating diabetes which arguably marked the beginning of the biotechnology age. Dr. Ullrich, director for the Department of Molecular Biology, Max Planck Institute of Biochemistry in Germany, was presented with the Award during a ceremony at The Dr. Paul Janssen Research Center in Beerse, Belgium, where he received the $100,000 prize.

"Dr. Ullrich's pioneering research translated genomics-based discoveries into new treatments that improve the lives of millions of patients," said Harlan Weisman, M.D., chief science and technology officer, Medical Devices & Diagnostics, Johnson & Johnson. "The 2009 Award recognizes his commitment to advancing translational research, an approach that embodies the spirit of Dr. Paul Janssen, who himself pioneered the development of more than 80 different medicines."

Working at Genentech, Inc. more than 25 years ago, Ullrich developed genetically engineered human insulin, the first therapeutic derived from gene cloning. This insulin is structurally identical to the naturally occurring form, and acts more quickly and with fewer allergic reactions than insulin made from other sources. Ullrich and collaborators discovered later that decade that the neu/HER2 gene is amplified and overexpressed in more than 30 percent of invasive, or more aggressive, breast cancers. HER2 was chosen for the development of an entirely no
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