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The Galien Foundation Honors Excellence in Scientific Innovation and Humanitarian Efforts at 2015 Prix Galien Awards Gala
Date:10/28/2015

NEW YORK, Oct. 28, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- The Prix Galien USA committee last night honored excellence in research, development and innovation in the biopharmaceutical and medical industry at its ninth annual Prix Galien Awards Gala, held at the American Museum of Natural History in New York City. The Galien awards committee recognized leading efforts in progressing the welfare of humankind in three categories—best pharmaceutical agent, best biotechnology product and best medical technology. The Prix Galien USA 2015 Award selection committee includes honorary Prix Galien member and Nobel Peace Prize winner Professor Elie Wiesel, as well as five medical science Nobel Laureates.

Prix Galien USA 2015 Awards were bestowed on IMBRUVICA® (ibrutinib) for best pharmaceutical agent, OPDIVO® (nivolumab) and KEYTRUDA® (pembrolizumab)‎ for best biotechnology product; and the T2Candida Panel for best medical technology. 

During the unique evening event, The 2015 Pro Bono Humanum Award, which recognizes ground-breaking efforts in improving human health, was presented to Mary-Claire King, Ph.D., Professor of Genome Sciences and Medical Genetics at the University of Washington and renowned geneticist. Professor King is the first woman recipient of the award.

The Galien Awards Committee selected Professor Mary-Claire King in recognition of her work in transforming the application of human genetics to medicine through identification of the first gene, BRCA1, responsible for inherited susceptibility to breast cancer.  Professor King also demonstrated that the genomes of humans and chimpanzees are 99% identical, and pioneered the application of genetic sequencing in forensics to identify victims of human rights abuse.

A highlight of the evening was the stirring Keynote Address by William C. Campbell, Ph.D., Research Fellow Emeritus at Drew University and recipient of the 2015 Nobel Prize in Medicine.

"Strides in biomedical research cannot advance without professionals in the medical field who are constantly innovating and dedicating their lives to improving the welfare of patients everywhere," said Bruno Cohen, Chairman of the Galien Foundation.  "This year's nominees are leaders in the development of disease-altering advancements through biopharmaceutical and medical innovation."

In recognition of the development and discovery of biotechnology products that improve the human condition, the selection committee awarded both Bristol-Myers Squibb's OPDIVO® (nivolumab) and Merck's KEYTRUDA® (pembrolizumab)‎ the 2015 Prix Galien USA Award for Best Biotechnology Product. OPDIVO® (nivolumab) and KEYTRUDA® (pembrolizumab)‎ are PD-1 immune checkpoint inhibitors currently indicated for patients with unresectable or metastatic melanoma or metastatic non-small lung cancer, following first-line treatment failure and disease progression.

The 2015 Prix Galien USA Award for Best Pharmaceutical Agent was awarded to Janssen Biotech & Pharmacyclics' IMBRUVICA® (ibrutinib), a first-in-class, oral, once-daily therapy for the treatment of patients with chronic lymphocytic leukemia and mantle cell lymphoma.

In the category of Best Medical Technology, the award was given to T2 Biosystems' T2Candida Panel. The T2Candida Panel is a diagnostic panel for the detection and monitoring of Candida infection and sepsis. It is the first sepsis pathogen diagnostic panel that provides species-specific results in three to five hours without the need for a blood culture, which can take up to six days to provide a result. 

The Prix Galien Awards Gala capped a day of events that included the sixth annual Galien Forum, Platinum-sponsored by Alexandria and Oracle Health Sciences, which featured roundtable debates focusing on critical global healthcare issues and challenges.

About the Galien Foundation
The Galien Foundation fosters, recognizes and rewards excellence in scientific innovation to improve the state of human health. Our vision is to be the catalyst for the development of the next generation of innovative treatment and technologies that will impact human health and save lives.

The Foundation oversees and directs activities in the USA for the Prix Galien, an international award that recognizes outstanding achievements in improving the human condition through the development of innovative therapies. The Prix Galien was created in France in 1970 in honor of Galen, the father of medical science and modern pharmacology. Worldwide, the Prix Galien is regarded as the equivalent of the Nobel Prize in biopharmaceutical and medical technology research.

For more information visit www.galienfoundation.org.

Galien Foundation Media Contact:
Michael Francoeur
Makovsky on behalf of The Galien Foundation 
mfrancoeur@makovsky.com
212-508-9642

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