Lyon welcomed on 4th October 2012 the 43rd edition of the French Prix Galien and the 12th edition of the International Prix Galien award ceremony, two awards of distinction given to pharmaceutical research leaders. It is the first time, since Frenchman Roland Mehl created the award, that the French ceremony is being held in Lyon, and that the international ceremony is being held in France, following Brussels, Montreal, Madrid, Lisbon, Zurich, Berlin, and New York, two years ago. Considered the “Nobel prize” of pharmacy, the Prix Galien recognizes recent therapeutic innovations as well as pharmaceutical research made public. Winners were announced in front of 300 attendees – research and pharmaceutical industry elite from around the world – assembled for the prestigious occasion at Lyon City Hall.

The French Prix Galien rewarded the following therapeutic innovations and research teams:
• Drugs used in hospital care:
Boceprevir (VICTRELIS)
Telaprevir (INVICO)
• Drugs used for rare diseases, cellular therapy and genetic therapy:
• Research:
Professor Michel Lazdunski for the entirety of his research
The genetic therapy functional unit directed by Professor Salima Hacein-Bey Abina


The International Prix Galien was awarded to Janssen Laboratories for STELARA ustekinumab, used to treat psoriasis. Lyon wished to leave its mark on this year’s ceremony by organizing a Forum at the Lyon Chamber of Commerce and Industry, with discussions about three subjects where Lyon is particularly strong: innovation ecosystems, infectious diseases and research and development. As well, Gérard Collomb, Senator-Mayor of Lyon, awarded a Medal of Honor to Professor Ogobara Doumbo. Mr. Doumbo is a world-renowned Malian scientist and one of the world’s greatest specialists in malaria.

The prestigious evening aside, it is also Lyon’s essential role in the drug industry that has been recognized. Aderly, the Economic Development Agency for the Lyon area, persuaded organizers to host the event in Lyon thanks to the city’s international renown in the life sciences and biotechnology domains. Alain Mérieux congratulated the Agency, also noting the promising work in creating “an infectious diseases shield” performed by the competitiveness cluster Lyonbiopole.