MONTREAL, QUEBEC--(Marketwired - Nov 20, 2013) -
Editors' note: A photo is associated with this press release.
The Rx&D Health Research Foundation has proudly awarded its prestigious Medal of Honour to two worthy nominees. Dr. Julio Montaner and the Honourable Kelvin K. Ogilvie received the Medal of Honour for their outstanding contributions to health sciences and public health innovation during a ceremony held in Montreal today. The ceremony was co-hosted with Prix Galien Canada.
"The Health Research Foundation is proud to award the Medal of Honour to the Honourable Kelvin K. Ogilvie and Dr. Julio Montaner," said Mr. Russell Williams, President of Canada's Research-Based Pharmaceutical Companies (Rx&D). "Above and beyond their extraordinary impact on biotechnology and AIDS research respectively, they have both demonstrated and exemplified dedication to the advancement of knowledge in innovative health research."
Dr. Julio Montaner holds an endowed Chair in AIDS Research at SPH /UBC, is the Director of the BC Centre for Excellence in HIV/AIDS and a former President of the International AIDS Society. He has played a key role in establishing the efficacy of Highly Active Antiretroviral Therapy (HAART) and has pioneered the implementation of 'Treatment as Prevention' (TasP), which calls for the expansion of HAART coverage to simultaneously decrease progression to AIDS and death, as well as to prevent HIV transmission. TasP has now gained global acceptance as the most promising means to control the HIV/AIDS pandemic.
The Honourable Kelvin K. Ogilvie is a leading expert on biotechnology, bioorganic chemistry and genetic engineering. His scientific accomplishments include the development of the 'Gene Machine', an automated process for the manufacture of DNA. He is the inventor of Ganciclovir, a drug used worldwide to fight infections that occur when the immune system is weakened. Among numerous awards, he was named a Steacie Fellow in 1992, admitted to the Order of Canada in 1991, inducted into the Canadian Science and Engineering Hall of Fame in 2011 and received the Biomedical Science Ambassador Award in 2012. Dr. Ogilvie has achieved and continues to achieve tremendous success within multiple scientific fields.
The Health Research Foundation co-hosted the award ceremony with Prix Galien, who awarded 'The Prix Galien Canada 2013 - Innovative Drug Product' to ipilimumab (Yervoy) marketed by Bristol-Myers Squibb Canada. Ipilimumab is an innovative product that has changed the landscape treatment of metastatic melanoma, a disease that affects about 900 Canadians a year. It has been a very significant addition to the therapy of metastatic melanoma and may possibly open the door to novel therapy of other metastatic cancers.
'The Prix Galien Canada 2013 - Research' was awarded to Dr. Francis Allan Plummer, Chief Scientific Officer of the Public Health Agency of Canada, Director of the National Microbiology Laboratory in Winnipeg, and Distinguished Professor - Departments of Medical Microbiology and Community Health Sciences at the University of Manitoba. Dr. Plummer is an exceptional scientist who has made very significant contributions to the field of HIV research and is clearly recognized as an international leader in this field.
About the Rx&D Health Research Foundation (HRF)
The Rx&D Health Research Foundation is a non-profit organization whose mission is to support health research in Canadian academic health centres and promote the value of health research in Canada. By applying the highest standards of scientific excellence, addressing health challenges and establishing partnerships, HRF, one of the leading private health foundations in the country, contributes significantly to the prevention and treatment of disease, to a better health care system and the availability for Canadians to access effective health products.
About Canada's Research-Based Pharmaceutical Companies (Rx&D)
Rx&D is the association of leading research-based pharmaceutical companies dedicated to improving the health of Canadians through the discovery and development of new medicines and vaccines. Our community represents the men and women working for more than 50 member companies which invest more than $1 billion in research and development each year to fuel Canada's knowledge-based economy, contributing over $3 billion to the Canadian economy. Guided by our Code of Ethical Practices, our membership is committed to working in partnership with governments, private payers, healthcare professionals and stakeholders in a highly ethical manner.
About The Prix Galien
The Prix Galien is the most prestigious award in the field of Canadian pharmaceutical research and innovation. Referred to as the Nobel Prize of pharmaceutical research, it recognizes the efforts and achievements of pharmaceutical research and development. The Prix Galien Canada is a branch of Innovation Life Canada. The mission of Innovation Life Canada is to celebrate innovators in life sciences through the organization of events for the general public and most importantly the younger generations. These events will bring an educational twist by gathering together the winners of our various awards and distinctions and affording them the opportunity to share their knowledge and experiences with the next generation. Innovation Life Canada is a non-profit organization.
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