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The Galien Foundation Announces Roster of Luminary Presenters for Third Galien Forum; Program Highlights Include CEO Panel, Panel on Alzheimer's Disease Innovation, Nobel Laureate Elie Wiesel

NEW YORK, July 9, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- The Galien Foundation today announced the formal program of presenters and panels for its Third Galien Forum, scheduled for Tuesday, October 16, 2012 at the Alexandria Center for Life Science in New York City.  The Galien Forum, conducted in conjunction with the prestigious Prix Galien Awards, features roundtable debates focusing on critical, global healthcare issues and challenges.  This year's program includes a panel of CEO emeriti making rare public appearances: P. Roy Vagelos, M.D. (Merck, current Chairman of Regeneron), Fred Hassan (Schering-Plough, Pharmacia, current Chairman of Bausch + Lomb) and Bernard Poussot (Wyeth). 

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Additionally, a Panel on "The Ethics of Innovation" will be moderated by Elie Wiesel, Andrew W. Mellon Professor of Humanities and Professor of Religion, College of Arts and Sciences, Boston University, best-selling author, and Nobel Peace Prize Laureate.  In a testament to the global reach and implications of biomedical innovation, Guido Rasi, Executive Director, European Medicines Agency, will provide his perspective during the opening Plenary Session.

"We are so proud to have attracted biopharmaceutical leaders, researchers, patient advocates, health policy experts and ethicists at the very top of their fields to contribute their expertise and wisdom to our Third Galien Forum," said Bruno Cohen, Galien Foundation Chairman.  "It is only through coming together for conversations and working collaboratively that we will be able to address the challenging global healthcare issues facing scientific, medical and technological innovation."

In addition to keynote sessions, there will be six roundtable panel presentations, including "Alzheimer's Innovation and the White House 2025 Mandate: What Will It Take to Find a Treatment," which features a "who's who" of Alzheimer's disease research, advocacy and health policy:

  • Russell Katz, M.D., Director, FDA Division of Neurological Drug Products within the Center for Drug Evaluation and Research (CDER);
  • Stephen Hume, M.D., a leading clinician and a patient with early onset Alzheimer's disease himself;
  • Bill Potter, M.D., Ph.D., Senior Advisor, National Institutes of Mental Health;
  • Dennis Selkoe, M.D., Co-Director, Center for Neurological Diseases, Brigham and Women's Hospital and Vincent and Stella Coates Professor of Neurologic Diseases, Harvard Medical School;
  • Bill Thies, M.D., Chief Medical and Scientific Officer, Alzheimer's Association; 
  • Meryl Comer, President, Geoffrey Beene Foundation, Alzheimer's Initiative; and 
  • Michael Rosenblatt, M.D., Executive Vice President and Chief Medical Officer, Merck, who will serve as panel moderator.

The Galien Foundation also disclosed today that nomination submissions for the 2012 Prix Galien USA Awards has reached an all-time high of 30 submissions, reflecting both the burgeoning levels of biopharmaceutical innovation in the United States, and recognition that the Prix Galien Awards represent the highest accolade for research and development – the biomedical industry's equivalent of the Nobel Prize.

"The drive to innovate starts with an idea of a scientist who understands the latest new knowledge from basic research and the unmet medical needs of patients," commented P. Roy Vagelos, M.D., Chairman of Regeneron Pharmaceuticals, retired Chairman and Chief Executive Officer at Merck and chair of the Prix Galien USA Awards Committee.  "When new understanding permits a new attack on an important disease, it is possible to improve outcomes for patients."

About the Galien Foundation and the Prix Galien Awards

The mission of the Galien Foundation is to serve as a vehicle for the open exchange of ideas that drive science and new innovations.  The Foundation's third major forum will be held at the Alexandria Center for Life Science on the morning of October 16, 2012, and will feature round table debates focusing on critical, global healthcare issues and challenges.

The Prix Galien Awards were created to honor medical research and pharmacology for outstanding efforts to improve the human condition though approval of innovative treatments and medicines.  The winners are selected by a preeminent scientific and learned committee that included several Nobel Laureates. Past product award recipients include; Prevnar 13® (Pfizer 2011), Stelara® (Janssen 2011), Prolia®/XGEVA® (Amgen 2011), Coartem® (Novartis 2010), RotaTeq® (Merck 2010), xTAG® (Luminex 2010), Gleevec® (Novartis 2009), Nplate® (Amgen 2009), Promacta® (GSK 2009), Cellsearch® (Veridex 2009), Isentress® (Merck 2009), Selzentry® (Pfizer 2008), Soliris® (Alexion 2008), Infuse® (Wyeth 2008), Revlimid® (Celgene 2008), Januvia® (Merck 2007), Chantix® (Pfizer 2007), Humira® (Abbott 2007) and Gardasil® (Merck 2007). 

The Pro Bono Humanum Award recognizes exemplary efforts by individuals and organizations in helping mankind.  The award will be presented by Professor Elie Wiesel, a Nobel Prize Laureate.  Previous winners of the award include: Professor Paul Farmer (2011), President Bill Clinton and Philippe Douste-Blazy (2010); Professors Barry Bloom and Jeffrey Sachs (2009), Sheldon Segal and the Population Council (2008); and Dr. P. Roy Vagelos (2007). 

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