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HPV vaccines win Prix Galien

Two vaccines against human papillomavirus were the winners of this year’s UK Prix Galien medal for innovation.

The award, for the drug that has made “the most significant contribution to patient care in the UK in terms of efficacy, safety and benefits, focusing in particular on innovation” was presented to Cervarix (GSK) and Gardasil (Sanofi Pasteur MSD). Sir Michael Rawlins, head of the judging panel and chairman of the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence, commended both companies for developing the vaccines at a time when most companies were stopping vaccine development.

Exjade (desferasirox), by Novartis, became the first winner of a Prix Galien award dedicated to orphan drug development. Exjade is a once daily tablet that offers an alternative to painful eight to 12 hourly infusions of desferrioxamine in patients with chronic iron overload. Professor Rawlins hailed it a “wonder drug” due to the improvement it offers to the quality of life of those suffering from iron overload.

The awards were presented by Shadow Secretary of State for Health, Andrew Lansley, during a ceremony at the House of Commons on 24 September 2008.

Citation: The Pharmaceutical Journal URI: 10032949

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