Prix Galien USA Salutes Excellence in Scientific Innovation and Humanitarian Efforts at 2012 Awards Gala

Bristol-Myers Squibb, Edwards Lifesciences, Merck, Medtronic and Vertex Pharmaceuticals Among Honorees

NEW YORK, Oct. 17, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- As part of its ongoing mission to recognize the technical, scientific and clinical research skills necessary to develop innovative medicines, the Prix Galien USA committee last night honored excellence in scientific innovation that improves the state of human health at its sixth annual Prix Galien Awards Gala, held at the American Museum of Natural History in New York City. Led by honorary member and Nobel Peace Prize winner Professor Elie Wiesel, the Prix Galien USA 2012 Award selection committee is an unrivaled network that includes seven additional Nobel Laureates in medicine.

(Logo: )

Prix Galien USA 2012 Awards were bestowed on Bristol-Myers Squibb's YERVOY® (ipilimumab) for best biotechnology product; Merck's VICTRELIS® (boceprevir) and Vertex's INCIVEK® (telaprevir) for best pharmaceutical agents; and Edwards Lifesciences' SAPIEN Transcatheter Heart Valve and Medtronic's Melody® Transcatheter Pulmonary Valve (TPV) Therapy for best medical technology product.  The 2012 Pro Bono Humanum Award, which recognizes exemplary and innovative efforts in improving the human condition, was awarded earlier this year to physician-geneticist Dr. Francis Collins.

The Galien Foundation Board selected Dr. Collins as this year's Pro Bono Humanum Award honoree in recognition of his contributions to the ethical implications of scientific research.  He currently serves as Director of the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Md.  The Award was presented to Dr. Collins by Prof. Wiesel, in the presence of Dr. Margaret Hamburg, Commissioner of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, who gave the key note address.

"Innovative biopharmaceutical research and development is at the core of all novel therapies that can dramatically change the face of disease and patient care," remarked Bruno Cohen, Chairman, Galien Foundation.  "We are proud that this year represents the greatest number of innovative biomedical treatments ever submitted for consideration for the Prix Galien USA Award."

In recognition of the development and discovery of biotechnology products that improve the human condition, the selection committee awarded Bristol-Myers Squibb's YERVOY® (ipilimumab) the 2012 Prix Galien USA Award for Best Biotechnology Product. YERVOY® is indicated for patients with unresectable or metastatic melanoma. YERVOY, approved in 41 countries, has also added to the National Comprehensive Cancer Network® (NCCN®) Clinical Practice Guidelines in Oncology (NCCN Guidelines™) for Melanoma as an NCCN Category 1 FDA-approved agent for treatment of metastatic melanoma.

For pharmaceutical advancements, the 2012 Prix Galien USA Award for Best Pharmaceutical Agent was awarded to Merck's VICTRELIS® (boceprevir) and Vertex's INCIVEK® (telaprevir), both protease inhibitors developed for the treatment of chronic hepatitis C (CHC) genotype 1 infection, in combination with the medicines peginterferon alfa and ribavirin, in adults with stable liver problems, who have not been treated before or who have failed previous treatment.

In the category of Best Medical Technology Product, the award was given to Edwards Lifesciences' SAPIEN Transcatheter Heart Valve and Medtronic's Melody® Transcatheter Pulmonary Valve (TPV) Therapy. SAPIEN is a new therapy for inoperable patients with severe symptomatic native aortic valve stenosis.  Melody® is the first FDA-Approved transcatheter heart valve.  Melody® Transcatheter Pulmonary Valve Therapy offers children and adults with failing pulmonary valve conduits a revolutionary option for treating pulmonary valve conduit failure without open heart surgery.

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 Prix Galien Award recognizes, 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 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 was 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). 

For more information about the Prix Galien USA award and committee, visit

SOURCE Prix Galien USA