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Pulmonary Hypertension Association Names Recipient of 2008 Award of Excellence in Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension (PAH) Care

SILVER SPRING, Md. and SOUTH SAN FRANCISCO, Calif., June 23 /PRNewswire/ -- The Pulmonary Hypertension Association (PHA) and Actelion Pharmaceuticals US, Inc. today announced Robyn Barst as the recipient of the second annual PHA Award of Excellence in Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension (PAH) Care. The grant, in the amount of $50,000, will be awarded to an institution of Dr. Barst's choice in order to support continued excellence in care for patients with PAH. The award, supported by Actelion, was presented at PHA's 8th International PH Conference being held in Houston, Texas, this weekend.

Dr. Barst was selected for her outstanding contributions to PAH patient care and clinical research, concentrated mainly on disease progression and treatment of PAH. Her studies have focused on the genetic aspects of PAH and the use of novel therapies for treatment.

"Dr. Barst has a well-established reputation of excellence in PAH clinical research and medical care," said Michael McGoon, MD, Professor of Medicine and Consultant in Cardiology at the Mayo Clinic College of Medicine and chair of the Independent Award Selection Committee. "Her passionate desire to better the lives of PAH patients through careful and concentrated research epitomizes the spirit of the PHA, and we are pleased to present this award in recognition of her devotion."

The PHA Award of Excellence in PAH Care is designed to honor and acknowledge healthcare professionals who are committed to improving outcomes for patients with PAH. It is awarded annually to outstanding care providers for clinical practice excellence in the area of PAH. The financial component of the award is directed to the recipient's choice of institution to support continued excellence in care for patients with PAH.

"The PHA Award of Excellence will encourage advances in both patient care and research in the area of PAH, a serious condition that continues to be under-recognized and under-treated," said Rino Aldrighetti, president of PHA. "Our physicians have made significant progress over the past few years in improving the lives of patients and developing effective PAH therapies, and believe that this award will contribute to ongoing advancement in PAH patient care."

This year's award recipient was selected by the 2008-2009 Independent Selection Committee, comprised of: Michael McGoon, MD, professor of medicine and consultant in Cardiology at the Mayo Clinic College of Medicine, chair of the Independent Selection Committee, and chair of PHA's Board of Trustees; David Badesch, MD, professor of medicine in the Divisions of Pulmonary Sciences and Critical Care Medicine, and Cardiology at the University of Colorado and chair of PHA's Scientific Leadership Council; Candi Bleifer, a PH patient and PHA Board member; Linda Carr, parent of a PH patient and past PHA board chair; Gregory Elliott, MD, professor of medicine at the University of Utah School of Medicine and past chair of PHA's Scientific Leadership Council; and Jack Stibbs, parent of a PH patient and past PHA board chair. Criteria in selecting the recipients included: proven resources required for excellence in PAH patient care, service to the local community, and consistent provision of cutting-edge options for patients living with PAH.

About the Award Recipient

Dr. Barst was most recently a Professor of Pediatrics in the Divisions of Pediatric Cardiology at Columbia University College of Physicians & Surgeons and Cornell Medical Center in New York, and Director of New York Presbyterian Pulmonary Hypertension Center at Columbia University Medical Center. She received her medical degree from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, and completed an internship and residency in pediatrics as well as fellowships in pediatric cardiology and pediatric pulmonary medicine at Columbia University College of Physicians & Surgeons in New York.

Dr. Barst is a Fellow of the American Academy of Pediatrics Section on Cardiology and Cardiac Surgery; of the American Heart Association Council on Cardiovascular Disease in the Young and Council on Cardiopulmonary, Perioperative and Critical Care; of the American College of Chest Physician; and of the American College of Cardiology. She is immediate past Chairman of the American Heart Association (AHA) Council on Cardiovascular Disease in the Young. In addition, she is a member of the European Society of Cardiology Task Force for Primary Pulmonary Hypertension and a consultant to the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute (NHLBI) Division of Lung Diseases and Office of Rare Diseases. Among her editorial responsibilities, Dr. Barst is a board member of Circulation and an abstract reviewer for Annual Scientific Sessions of the AHA and American Thoracic Society. Professional accolades include the Scleroderma Foundation Research, Education, and Support Award; the Clinician-Scientist Award, AHA; and the Clinical Investigator Award, NHLBI.

About the Pulmonary Hypertension Association

The Pulmonary Hypertension Association (PHA) is dedicated to finding ways to prevent and cure pulmonary hypertension, and to provide hope for the pulmonary hypertension community through support, education, advocacy and awareness. The vision of PHA is to improve the lives of those affected by pulmonary hypertension.

More information about PHA is available at

About Actelion Pharmaceuticals

Actelion Ltd is a biopharmaceutical company with its corporate headquarters in Allschwil/Basel, Switzerland. Actelion's first drug Tracleer(R), an orally available dual endothelin receptor antagonist, has been approved as a therapy for pulmonary arterial hypertension. Actelion markets Tracleer(R) through its own subsidiaries in key markets worldwide, including the United States (based in South San Francisco), the European Union, Japan, Canada, Australia and Switzerland. Actelion, founded in late 1997, is a leading player in innovative science related to the endothelium -- the single layer of cells separating every blood vessel from the blood stream. Actelion focuses on the discovery, development and marketing of innovative drugs for significant unmet medical needs. Actelion shares are traded on the SWX Swiss Exchange (ticker symbol: ATLN).

SOURCE Pulmonary Hypertension Association; Actelion Ltd
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