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Prix Galien USA Recognizes Biotech, Pharmaceutical Industries for Innovative Medical Treatments

Awards for best biotechnology and best pharmaceutical agents honored outstanding drugs for treating cancer, HIV/AIDS and other life-altering diseases

NEW YORK, Sept. 25 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ --- Prix Galien USA 2008 ( last night recognized the innovations and ingenuities of biotechnological and pharmaceutical companies and researchers for the development of drugs that address pervasive illness and diseases including cancer, HIV/AIDS, hypertension and others.

At the ceremony, Sheldon Segal, distinguished scientist at the Population Council, received the Pro Bono Humanum Award for spearheading an innovative, collaborative and charitable coalition approach toward developing and distributing implantable hormone delivery systems used for birth control and family planning, improving the quality of life of more than 8 million women worldwide. The award, which was given by Elie Wiesel, also recognized other coalition members the late Judah Folkman of Harvard University, the Rockefeller Brothers Foundation, Dow-Corning and Wyeth for their contributions to this science-based global effort to improve reproductive health, especially in underserved countries.

"The therapeutic agents recognized by Prix Galien USA represent the best of the best, impacting such conditions as cancer, HIV/AIDS and human debility, and serve as examples of what the biopharmaceutical industry can do to improve the human condition," said Gerald Weissmann, M.D., Prix Galien USA committee chair, New York University professor emeritus and editor-in-chief of The FASEB Journal. "We are living in the midst of a biological revolution and the breakthrough agents honored by the Prix Galien USA illustrate the substantial research and development necessary to bring the fruits of that revolution in molecular medicine to the clinic."

The Prix Galien USA 2008 winners include:

Best Pharmaceutical Agent (Small Molecule)

-- Selzentry(TM) Hidden List (Pfizer Inc.) -- This treatment is

used to treat a strain of HIV called "CCR5-tropic HIV-1

detectable," a strain that was previously resistant to other

therapies. Selzentry works by preventing HIV from binding to T-cells, a

necessary step for the virus to spread and replicate throughout the


-- Isentress(R) (Merck & Co., Inc.) -- Isentress is the first drug in a

new class of HIV medications called "integrase inhibitors,"

that works by preventing HIV from taking over human cells and stopping

viral replication.

Best Biotechnology Agent

-- Soliris(TM) (Alexion Pharmaceuticals, Inc.) -- This is the first and

only FDA-approved drug to treat Paroxysmal Nocturnal Hemoglobinuria, a

rare disease that usually leads to a painful death by age 10.

-- INFUSE(R) (Wyeth) -- Hidden List INFUSE is a bone graft

device that incorporates a synthesized therapeutic protein to promote

bone healing.

Special Therapeutic Development

-- The Celgene Corporation for Revlimid(R) -- Taken orally, this cancer

medication primes the immune system for killing cancer cells.

The Prix Galien Award ( recognizes the technical, scientific and clinical research skills necessary to develop innovative medicines, and is considered the industry's highest accolade for pharmaceutical research and development -- equivalent to the Nobel Prize. Prix Galien was first established in 1970 by French pharmacist Roland Mehl and was inaugurated in the United States in September 2007. The Prix Galien USA awards committee of 11 individuals includes seven Nobel Laureates, founders of major biotech companies and editors of world-renowned biology journals.

SOURCE Prix Galien USA
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