Janssen Pharmaceuticals Inc, a Pharmaceutical Companies of Johnson & Johnson, has been awarded with the esteemed International Prix Galien award for its acknowledgment of its discovery and development of a new multidrug-resistant tuberculosis (MDR-TB) treatment. The drug called SIRTURO (bedaquiline) is already reaching MDR-TB patients around the world, including third-world countries.
The Prix Galien award was created in 1970 to recognize the pharmaceutical industry’s outstanding achievement in the development of new therapies, is the highest accolade in pharmaceutical research and development. In order to be nominated for the international award, a company must have a treatment win a national Prix Galien, which is what SIRTURO exactly did in 2014.
This latest International Prix Galien award is Janssen’s fifth international award. Janssen is now one of the most awarded companies in the 46-year history of the Prix Galien, as it has been honored before in 2014, 2012, 2006 and 1996.
“Johnson & Johnson is honored to receive the International Prix Galien award for our work In the MDR-TB arena. This achievement is a testament to the tireless efforts of our research scientists and to our global partners,” said Wim Parys, M.D., Head, R&D Global Public Health, Johnson & Johnson. “MDR-TB is a critical part of Johnson & Johnson’s new Global Public Health(GPH) organization and underscores our commitment to ensuring essential medicines and care for the world’s most vulnerable and neglected populations.”
“This award once again recognizes the outstanding efforts of the Janssen scientists who discovered and developed SIRTURO and it should also resonate in Korea, which became the first country in Asia to grant approval and reimbursement for this treatment,” said OakYeon Kim, CEO of Janssen Korea. “Our hope is that SIRTURO will contribute to significantly reducing of the prevalence of MDR-TB in Korea, which has the highest number of patients among the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development(OECD) countries.”
MDR-TB is a complicated form of TB that is characterized by resistance to two of the standard four-drug, anti-TB drug regimen and its gaining momentum globally. In 2015, there were 480,000 new cases of MDR-TB worldwide, 100,000 cases of rifampicin-resistant TB, and nearly 250,000 deaths from MDR-TB and rifampicin-resistant TB(RR-TB). According to the World Health Organization, an estimated 2,900 people were diagnosed with MDR-TB in Korea in 2015.
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