NEW YORK--(BUSINESS WIRE)--At the inaugural Prix Galien USA ceremony to recognize outstanding scientific achievements in the biomedical industry, hosted by television personality Charlie Rose, four medals were announced, two each for Best Pharmaceutical and Best Biotechnology drugs “with broad implications for future biomedical research.”
“The Prix Galien has been described, without exaggeration, as the industry’s equivalent of the Nobel Prize,” Rose said.
In attendance at the sold-out gala and dinner at Cipriani in New York on September 24th were six Nobel laureates who answered questions from Mr. Rose about current and future pharmaceutical and biomedical research and treatment.
Medals for Best Biotechnology were awarded to Abbott Laboratories for Humira, a drug to treat rheumatoid arthritis, and to Merck & Company, Inc. for Gardasil, a vaccine that prevents HPV, a sexually transmitted disease causing most cervical cancers.
The Best Pharmaceutical medals were awarded to Pfizer Inc. for Chantix, a prescription drug that helps adults quit smoking, and Merck for Januvia, an oral diabetes medicine that helps control blood sugar levels.
Final candidates included Abbott, Astellas, Bayer Healthcare, BioMarin, Elan, Genzyme, GlaxoSmithKline, Merck, Otsuka, Pfizer, Shering-Plough, Shire, Takeda, Tibotec and Wyeth.
In a special presentation, Nobel Peace Prize laureate Elie Wiesel presented the 2007 Prix Galien Pro Bono Humanitarian Medal to Dr. Roy Vagelos for his role in eliminating river blindness as a major public health threat. Dr. Vagelos led a campaign that has made free treatment available to more than 530 million people.
Sirena Huang, a 12-year-old violin virtuoso, provided entertainment at the ceremony. The young musician received a standing ovation.
Other speakers at the event were Dr. Gerald Weissmann, Chair of the Prix Galien USA Scientific Committee; Dr. Bengt Samuelsson, former president of the Nobel Committee; Philippe Douste-Blazy, Board Chairman of UNITAID and representative of the French Government; and Dr. Robert Grossman, Dean and CEO of the NYU Medical Center. The NYU Medical Center sponsored the evening’s ceremony.
The Prix Galien award originated in 1970 by French pharmacist Roland Mehl as a way to give recognition to outstanding medical accomplishments. Since than, the award, named after “Galen,” the Greek father of medicine and pharmacology, has become one of the most coveted honors in the biomedical industry in Europe and Canada.
Prix Galien USA was organized and produced by Bruno Cohen. He announced the evening’s event an “unqualified success” and said Prix Galien USA would be back in 2008. The program was produced by Georges Leclere.