National Inventor of the Year Award Goes to Scientists for Groundbreaking Cholesterol-Reducing Drug Intellectual Property Owners Education Foundation Honors Team of Scientists

for Breakthrough Drug



    WASHINGTON, June 14 /PRNewswire/ -- Five scientists have been named the
 recipients of the 32nd annual National Inventor of the Year Award for
 discovering and developing Zetia(R) (ezetimibe), a drug that can significantly
 impact the lives of 105 million American adults who risk heart disease due to
 high cholesterol.
     Presented by Intellectual Property Owners Education Foundation (IPOEF),
 the award is the most prestigious of its kind, having gone previously to those
 responsible for the development of the Jarvik Seven Artificial Heart, Bose
 speaker technology and other patented breakthrough inventions.
     Drs. Duane Burnett, John Clader, Sundeep Dugar, Brian McKittrick, and
 Stuart Rosenblum were part of a Schering-Plough team responsible for the
 discovery and development of Zetia.  Zetia is an innovative therapy
 representing the first new approach to reducing cholesterol levels since the
 discovery of statins more than 15 years ago.
     "These scientists' effort to create a drug that reduces cholesterol in a
 completely novel way highlights the value of creativity and the importance of
 patents," said Herbert C. Wamsley, executive director of IPO Education
 Foundation.  "Without the security provided by a patent, the vital investments
 that went into the creation of Zetia may not have been preserved for patient
 benefit."
     Zetia lowers cholesterol levels by inhibiting the absorption of
 cholesterol in the small intestine and thereby decreasing the amount of
 cholesterol absorbed into the body.  This unique mechanism of action is
 complementary to that of statins, which inhibit the synthesis of cholesterol
 in the liver.
     "Nearly half of the American adult population is at risk because of high
 cholesterol levels," said Tim Elsner, Director of Communications at Mended
 Hearts, a nationwide heart patient support group affiliated with the American
 Heart Association.  "Reducing these levels through lifestyle choices -- such
 as nutrition and physical activity -- and, when necessary, medication, is an
 essential step in controlling heart disease. We're pleased that IPO is
 recognizing the valuable contribution scientists make to advancing patient
 heath."
 
     CONTACT:  Samantha Grover of the Intellectual Property Owners Education
 Foundation, +1-202-466-6730, Samantha@ipo.org; or Chris Roche of Brodeur
 Worldwide, +1-202-775-2675, croche@brodeur.com, for the Intellectual Property
 Owners Education Foundation.
 
 

SOURCE Intellectual Property Owners Education Foundation

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