NEW YORK, Sept. 30 /PRNewswire/ -- The Prix Galien USA committee honored innovations that are saving lives last night during the Prix Galien Awards Gala. The Pro Bono Humanum Award, the Prix Galien USA 2010 and the Prix Galien International were presented and related accomplishments celebrated.
The 11 members committee among them 7 Nobel laureates conferred its Pro Bono Humanum Award to Philippe Douste-Blazy, M.D., President of UNITAID, and President Bill Clinton, founder of the William J. Clinton Foundation and 42nd President of the United States, for their work in combating the HIV/AIDS epidemic. Elie Wiesel, Nobel laureate and member of the committee praised UNITAID and CHAI's tireless efforts in reducing the price of quality medicines and diagnostics, accelerating the pace at which these health products are made available, and expanding the distribution of life-saving medicines to more than 456,000 people in 40 countries.
"The passion and commitment that Philippe and Bill and their organizations bring to the devastating plague of HIV/AIDS is an inspiration to us all," said Mr. Wiesel.
United Nations Secretary-General BAN Ki-moon also participated in the ceremony, and called on the pharmaceutical industry to support the Millennium Development Goals, in particular through measures to increase access to life-saving medicines and to improve women's and children's health.
Recognizing the development and discovery of drugs and technologies that improve the human condition, Merck & Company's RotaTeq®, Novartis's Coartem®, and Luminex Corporation's xTAG® were awarded the Prix Galien USA. Amgen's Nplate® and Bayer Schering Pharma's Xarelto® were winners of the International Prix Galien, a prize awarded every second year to "the best of the best" selected from winners of Prix Galien national prizes.
"We are pleased to honor the winners for the work and dedication of scientists across the globe that have developed life-changing technologies. Coartem for the cure of life-threatening malaria, and RotaTeq which will prevent deaths from infant diarrhea world-wide, are major achievements in science with global reach," said Gerald Weissmann, M.D., Prix Galien USA committee chair, Research Professor of Medicine at NYU and editor-in-chief of The FASEB Journal. "The other winners, in the fields of molecular diagnostics, anticoagulation and clotting disorders resulted from ground-breaking basic research and will influence medical treatment for years to come."
The Prix Galien USA 2010 winners, selected from 16 final candidates, are:
Best Medical Technology:
- Luminex Corporation, xTAG® — A universal tagging system used in molecular diagnostics assays for applications in multiplexed genetic testing.
Best Biotechnology Product:
- Merck & Co., RotaTeq® — An oral vaccine against rotavirus gastroenteritis, which is the cause of severe diarrhea in infants.
Best Pharmaceutical Agent:
- Novartis, Coartem® — By targeting malaria parasites with a fixed dose combination of two differently acting antimalarials, Coartem allows over 95% of treated patients to recover fast from this life threatening disease.
The International Prix Galien winners, selected from 18 candidates, are:
- Amgen, Nplate® — A thrombopoietin receptor agonist used in the treatment of thrombocytopenic purpura by increasing platelet counts without affecting the immune system.
- Bayer Schering Pharma, Xarelto® — An orally available active direct inhibitor of coagulation Factor Xa.
Support for the Prix Galien Awards is provided by Oracle, DDB Healthcare, Deloitte, Alexandria Real Estate, Inventiv Health, DJE Science (a unit of Edelman), Kendle, City of Lyon, Saint Joseph's University and SAS.
The Prix Galien Award recognizes the technical, scientific and clinical research skills necessary to develop innovative medicines and devices such as these, and is considered the industry's highest accolade, 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 award committee comprises 11 individuals including Nobel Laureates, founders of major biotech companies and editors of world-renowned biology journals.
For details about the Prix Galien USA award and committee, visit www.galienfoundation.org.
SOURCE Galien Foundation