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PhRMA Celebrates 20th Anniversary of Discoverers Award

Honors Coreg Researchers at Capitol Hill Press Conference

WASHINGTON, Feb. 7 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA) today honored recipients of PhRMA's 2008 Discoverers Award and this year's Clinical Trial Exceptional Service Award at a Capitol Hill news conference.

PhRMA presented the Discoverers Award -- its highest honor -- and the Clinical Trial Exceptional Service Award to biopharmaceutical company scientists and other researchers who helped discover and advance Coreg, a breakthrough medicine that has helped improve the lives of more than five million patients worldwide.

GlaxoSmithKline's (GSK) cardiovascular medicine Coreg has reduced the mortality of congestive heart failure and changed the paradigm for treating this life-threatening and debilitative disease. Coreg is also used by patients to treat high blood pressure and prevent recurrent heart attacks.

This year marks the 20-year anniversary of the Discoverers Award. The award recognizes scientists whose research and development of medicines have greatly benefited mankind, and whose dedication to improving the quality of patients' lives exemplify the best among research based company scientists today.

This year, PhRMA presented the Discoverers Award to the three then SmithKline Beecham scientists who discovered the prescription drug Coreg. The recipients of the award are Eliot Ohlstein, Ph.D., Senior Vice President and head of the Cardiovascular & Urogenital Diseases Center of Excellence for Drug Discovery at GSK; Robert Ruffolo, Jr., Ph.D., formerly an R&D executive at the GSK heritage company and now President, Research & Development at Wyeth; and Tian-Li Yue, Ph.D., Manager, Department of Investigative & Cardiac Biology, Cardiovascular Urogenital Centre of Excellence in Drug Discovery at GSK. All of these honorees reside in the Philadelphia, Pennsylvania area.

At the press conference, PhRMA also bestowed the annual Clinical Trial Exceptional Service Award to Michael Bristow, M.D., Ph.D., Co-Director, University of Colorado Cardiovascular Institute; Mary Ann Lukas, M.D., F.A.C.C., Senior Director, Cardiovascular Medicine Development Centre at GSK; and Milton Packer, M.D., Director, Center for Biostatistics and Clinical Science and Professor at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center. All three researchers helped make extraordinary advances in the clinical trials that were essential to the development of Coreg.

The Clinical Trial Exceptional Service Award also was presented to Lacey Angioletti, a patient who participated in the clinical trials of the life-saving treatment Coreg. Angioletti was only 21-years old when she was diagnosed with heart failure. Now at age 34, Angioletti is an actress and thankfully leading a healthy life, due in large part, to this prescription medicine.

PhRMA's President and CEO Billy Tauzin, in his remarks at the press conference said, "The recipients of these Awards should all be proud that they played such an incredible role in advancing health care here in America and around the world. Millions of patients worldwide now live healthier, longer lives because of the critical research that was done by these dedicated researchers." Tauzin added, "These extraordinary honorees certainly deserve this recognition because they are the heroes behind the miracle medicine that has helped patients like Lacey win their battle against life-threatening heart diseases."

Alan Metz, M.D., GlaxoSmithKline's Vice President and Medical Director, North America, added that, "Coreg is a wonderful example of how creative science can change the fundamental thinking about the way we treat disease, and how innovation can make a life-saving difference to patients. The scientists we honor today championed this achievement, and hundreds of others in GSK shared their vision and passion to make this medicine a reality. This award honors all of them."

Joining Tauzin and Dr. Metz in presenting PhRMA's Discoverers Award and Clinical Trial Exceptional Service Award was Mary Woolley, President and CEO of Research!America, a group of 500 organizations that advocates for stronger funding and policies for research to improve health in America.

The Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA) represents the country's leading pharmaceutical research and biotechnology companies, which are devoted to inventing medicines that allow patients to live longer, healthier, and more productive lives. PhRMA companies are leading the way in the search for new cures. PhRMA members alone invested an estimated $43 billion in 2006 in discovering and developing new medicines. Industry-wide research and investment reached a record $55.2 billion in 2006.

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SOURCE Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America
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