NIH Director Francis S. Collins, M.D., Ph.D. Selected as 2012 Pro Bono Humanum Honoree by Prix Galien USA

Prix Galien Committee Announces 2012 Prix Galien USA Candidates for Best Biotechnology Product, Best Pharmaceutical Agent and Best Medical Technology Product

NEW YORK, Aug. 9, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- The Galien Foundation Board announced today that NIH Director Dr. Francis Collins will receive the 2012 Pro Bono Humanum Award. The Pro Bono Humanum Award recognizes exemplary and innovative efforts in improving the human condition. This special award is presented by Elie Wiesel, in presence of the Prix Galien USA Committee. The annual award presentation accompanies a series of awards honoring companies that have made innovative contributions to biopharmaceutical and medical technology research and development.  The ceremony will take place at the American Museum of Natural History in New York City on October 16, 2012.

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The Galien Foundation Board selected physician-geneticist Dr. Francis Collins as this year's honoree for his founding leadership of the Human Genome Project (HGP), which laid the groundwork for the genomics revolution and its impact on global medicines innovation.  He currently serves as Director of the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Maryland.  Previous winners include President Bill Clinton and Dr. Paul Farmer, Kolokotrones University Professor at Harvard University and Chair of the Department of Global Health and Social Medicine at Harvard Medical School.

In related news, the Prix Galien USA Committee, responsible for awarding the most prestigious prize in biopharmaceutical Research and Development, led by P. Roy Vagelos, M.D., Chairman of Regeneron Pharmaceuticals and retired Chairman and Chief Executive Officer at Merck, today announced the 2012 final candidates for the sixth annual Prix Galien Awards.  The Prix Galien Award recognizes the technical, scientific and clinical research skills and achievements necessary to develop innovative medicines and devices, and is considered the biomedical industry's highest accolade.

"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 Dr. Vagelos.  "We are proud that this year represents the greatest number of innovative biomedical treatments ever submitted for consideration for the Prix Galien USA Award."          

Final candidates for the Prix Galien USA 2012 Awards are:

Best Biotechnology Product (Final Candidates)

Biogen Idec                             

TYSABRI® (natalizumab)

Bristol-Myers Squibb               

YERVOY (ipilimumab)


ARZERRA® (ofatumumab)


FLUMIST® QUADRIVALENT (influenza vaccine live, intranasal)


ZOSTAVAX® (zoster vaccine live)

Regeneron Pharmaceuticals  

EYLEA® (aflibercept) Injection

Sanofi Pasteur                         

FLUZONE® Intradermal (influenza virus vaccine)


VPRIV® (velaglucerase alfa for injection)


FIRAZYR® (icatibant injection)

Best Pharmaceutical Agent (Final Candidates)

Acorda Therapeutics              

AMPYRA® (dalfampridine)


CAPRELSA® (vandetanib)

Celgene Corporation                 

VIDAZA® (azacitidine for injection)

Roche/Genentech and Plexxikon   

ZELBORAF® (vemurafenib)


POTIGA (ezogabine)


VOTRIENT® (pazopanib)


INTELENCE® (etravirine)


XARELTO® (rivaroxaban)


ZYTIGA® (abiraterone acetate)


VICTRELIS® (boceprevir)


AFINITOR® (everolimus)

Optimer Pharmaceuticals         

DIFICID® (fidaxomicin)


XALKORI® (crizotinib)

Purdue Pharma                       

OxyContin® (controlled-release oxycodone hydrochloride)


VIBATIV® (telavancin) for injection


VIMPAT® (lacosamide)

Vertex Pharmaceuticals          

INCIVEK® (telaprevir)

Best Medical Technology Product (Final Candidates)


XIENCE V® Everolimus Eluting Coronary Stent System

Berlin Heart                             

EXCOR® Pediatric Ventricular Assist Device (VAD)

Edwards Lifesciences             

SAPIEN Transcatheter Heart Valve


Melody® Transcatheter Pulmonary Valve (TPV) Therapy


NovoTTF™-100A System 


Unifill® Ready-to-Fill (Prefilled) Syringe

VisionCare Ophthalmic


CentraSight®, utilizing the implantable telescope technology

As in past years, the committee will judge candidates as Best Pharmaceutical Agent, Best Biotechnology Product and Best Medical Technology Product approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) during the past 5 years.

2012 candidates include therapies, vaccines and technologies that are changing prevention and treatment paradigms for debilitating and potentially fatal diseases such as hepatitis C, metastatic melanoma, multiple sclerosis, cardiovascular disease, macular degeneration, breast cancer and human immunodeficiency virus.  Many are "firsts" in their field or class, demonstrating the significant potential for developing disease-altering advances through biopharmaceutical and medical innovation.

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 discussions 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). 

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

SOURCE Galien Foundation