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Prix Galien USA Honors Innovation in Science and Biotech Industries

NEW YORK, Oct. 1 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Prix Galien USA committee celebrated members of the science and biotechnology industries last night for the development and discovery of drugs and technologies that improve the human condition. Novartis Oncology, Amgen, GlaxoSmithKline and Veridex were honored with the 2009 Prix Galien USA, considered the industry's highest accolade for pharmaceutical research and development, for treatments that could change the course of health care worldwide.

"The 2009 Prix Galien USA winners represent what is possible when basic scientific research translates to drug development and discovery," said Gerald Weissmann, M.D., Prix Galien USA committee chair, NYU School of Medicine research professor of medicine, director of biotechnology study center, and editor-in-chief of The FASEB Journal. "We all benefit from the research that provides new treatments for the millions of cancer patients worldwide and for the patients living with rare blood diseases. Basic research translates into future knowledge and improved health for all of us."

At the gala awards ceremony, the committee presented Barry Bloom, Ph.D., Joan L. and Julius H. Jacobson professor of public health at the Harvard School of Public Health, and Jeffrey Sachs, Ph.D., director of The Earth Institute, Quetelet Professor of Sustainable Development, and professor of health policy and management at Columbia University, with the Pro Bono Humanum Award. Dr. Barry Bloom was honored for his work to support efforts to eradicate disease by understanding the immune responses to infectious diseases. Dr. Sachs was honored for the Millennium Villages, a project which has helped rural African communities and close to half a million people lift themselves out of extreme poverty by providing basic interventions that address needs in business development, food, health, infrastructure and education.

The Prix Galien 2009 winners, selected from 21 candidates, are:

Best Pharmaceutical Product:

  • Novartis Oncology, GLEEVEC(R) -- By targeting the specific cancer-causing molecules in the body, GLEEVEC(R)( )attacks cancerous cells while sparing healthy cells and the immune system.

Best Biotechnology Product:

  • Amgen, Nplate(R) -- A thrombopoietin receptor agonist used in the treatment of thrombocytopenic purpura by increasing platelet counts without affecting the immune system.
  • GlaxoSmithKline, PROMACTA(R) -- Approved for the treatment of thrombocytopenia, the product increases platelet levels and does not inhibit normal antibody production.

Best Medical Technology:

  • Veridex, CellSearch(R) CTC Test -- The device is used to enumerate tumor cells in whole blood, making it the first of its kind that is capable of reliably isolating and identifying cells in patients with metastatic breast, colorectal or prostate cancer.

The Prix Galien Award ( recognizes the technical, scientific and clinical research skills necessary to develop innovative medicines, and is considered the 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 Vanguard Communications

SOURCE Vanguard Communications
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