Friday, 30 November 2012

Winners for 2012 Scrip Awards

London’s Lancaster Hotel saw industry achievements across the board being celebrated last night at a glittering ceremony for the 8th Annual Scrip Awards.

The ceremony, hosted by the journalist and broadcaster John Sergeant, rewarded excellence over the whole range of industry activities, from pharma, biotech and those companies that support them. Despite 2012 being remarkable for the patent cliff, the Euro crisis and yet more damage to pharma’s reputation in the mainstream media, there was still much to celebrate in your achievements.

“Medical innovation in the past century has transformed the basic expectations of human lives. Tens of millions of death sentences were lifted and once dread diseases were cured or became manageable chronic conditions,” explains Mike Ward, Chief Content Officer for Datamonitor Healthcare and Scrip Intelligence. “Our industry continues to develop medicines that save and improve millions of lives in every country around the globe.

“However, this industry's contribution is much greater than improvements in life expectancy or quality of life – there are also the economic benefits brought by job creation, consumer spending and taxes paid. However, it is clear that the world – developed and developing – will not get to enjoy access to good healthcare unless the key stakeholders work together to deliver innovations and excellence,” explains Ward. “It is this innovation that we are here to recognize this evening, with awards that recognise the best and brightest in our industries.”
Of those categories that reward broader achievements of firms within the industry over the past year, Pharma Company of the Year (sponsored by ICON) went to Abbott, which the judges highlighted as “an example to follow”.

Winning the Biotech Company of the Year award was another US company that has enjoyed a transformative year: Regeneron Pharmaceuticals.

Quintiles’ trophy for Best Clinical Research Organization was a result of a busy 12 months that saw it make various acquisitions, launch its novel Infosario data technology and make advances in Asia.

The Best Company in an Emerging Market award went to Hyderabad-based API and generics company, Laurus Labs, which enjoyed revenue growth of 40%, and an increase in EBIDTA of 34%.

Moving to those categories that reward innovation in the ways companies work together, the Best Partnership Alliance award was won by AstraZeneca and the UK Medical Research Council for their exciting new collaboration that seeks to understand mechanisms of disease and ‘crowdsource’ new therapeutic applications for drugs in previously unexplored indications using an open innovation approach. The judges said: “It’s a worthy experiment in the era of open innovation. It is undoubtedly innovative and both partners are contributing something valuable.”

Meanwhile, the Licensing Deal of the Year award was won by ThromboGenics and Novartis’s Alcon division for their deal for the exclusive ex-US rights to ocriplasmin, a pioneering pharmacological treatment for symptomatic vitreomacular adhesion (VMA).
Novartis’ other trophy was won in one of Scrip’s two new awards this year – Clinical Advance of the Year, which was sponsored by Quintiles.

The other major award for R&D, Best New Drug (sponsored by INC Research), went this year to Zelboraf (vemurafenib), developed by Roche/Genentech in partnership with Plexxikon and Roche Molecular Systems.

In the Awards that applaud individual and team success, the trophy for Executive of the Year went to Shire’s outgoing CEO Angus Russell. In his last year at the helm of the speciality company, Russell presided over the $750 million acquisition of Advanced BioHealing, a move that took his company into yet another new direction: regenerative medicine.

For Management Team of the Year (sponsored by Talentmark), the judges rewarded Alkermes executive management team.

This year’s Clinical Research Team of the Year went to ICON’s clinical operations team for the extremely quick start up of a large study involving 109 sites in 15 countries, for an investigational gynecological compound in a selective women’s population.

The Best Technological Development in Clinical Trials award went to PPD for its PPD 3D, a unique virtual environment for training clinical research associates (CRAs) to monitor clinical trials.
The second new award category this year, Financing Deal of the Year, is designed to recognize successful and creative fundraising by pharma and biotech companies. The award went to Valeritas, a US company that develops and commercializes innovative drug development technologies, which in one of the largest private capital financings of 2011, raised $150 million in an equity financing.
But the highlight of the evening was the Lifetime Achievement Award, which went to expert biostatistician, entrepreneur, industry pioneer and public health advocate: Dennis Gillings.

As an industry leader and visionary, Dr Gillings was a pioneer in the CRO industry, transforming drug development over the last three decades. After gaining mathematics and statistics degrees, London-born Dr Gillings began his career as professor of biostatistics at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill. It was while he was here that he began providing statistical consulting and data management services to pharmaceutical clients in 1974. Building on this experience, Dr Gillings founded Quintiles in 1982, and the company has since grown to become the largest global provider of clinical trials and commercial marketing services to pharma and biotech industries, with revenues exceeding $3 billion.

“Scrip’s Lifetime Achievement Award is reserved for an individual who has made an outstanding contribution to the pharmaceutical/biotech industry,” says Ward. “In founding Quintiles, Dennis Gillings made an indelible impact on drug development by pioneering the Clinical Research Organization industry, revolutionising the field to the extent that clinical trials expertise now rests with these companies. The CRO sector is still fast growing and plays a crucial role in drug development.”

Under Dr Gillings’ leadership, Quintiles has helped develop or commercialize all of 2011’s top 50 best-selling compounds, top 30 best-selling cardiovascular products/compounds and top 40 best-selling oncology products/compounds. In April, Dr Gillings stepped away from the day-to-day running of the company to become its executive chairman, but his influence continues. He was a founding chairman of the Association of Clinical Research Organizations, and in 2004, Dr Gillings was honored by Her Majesty the Queen with a CBE for services to the pharmaceutical industry.

“Many congratulations to all of the winners of this year’s Scrip Awards,” says Ward. “While Awards evenings like this tend to focus on the winners, it is worth noting that this year, as in previous years, the standard of entries was exceptionally high. To be on the shortlist is a great achievement and we should also congratulate all our nominees.”

“In addition, I would like to thank our sponsors, our independent panel of awards judges, and my editorial colleagues in the Scrip Group who have ensured that we maintain our position as the leading source of intelligence on all aspects of the global pharmaceutical industry.”

Scrip Awards 2012:

Lifetime Achievement: Dennis Gillings CBE
Pharma Company of the Year (Sponsored by Icon): Abbott
Best New Drug (Sponsored by INC Research): Roche for Zelboraf (vemurafenib)
Management Team of the Year (Talentmark): Alkermes’ Executive Management Team
Best Contract Research Organisation: Quintiles
Biotech Company of the Year: Regeneron Pharmaceuticals
Executive of the Year: Angus Russell, CEO of Shire
Licensing Deal of the Year: Alcon and ThromboGenics for ocriplasmin
Clinical Advance of the Year (sponsored by Quintiles): Novartis’ EXIST-2 study of everolimus
Clinical Research Team of the Year: ICON’s clinical operations team
Financing Deal of the Year: Valeritas’ series C
Best Partnership Alliance: AstraZeneca and the UK Medical Research Council
Best Technological Development in Clinical Trials: PPD for PPD 3D
Best Company in an Emerging Market: Laurus Labs