Boehringer Ingelheim (Canada) Ltd.'s Targeted Lung Cancer Therapy, GIOTRIF® (afatinib), Recognized with Prestigious Prix Galien Canada - Innovative Product Award

BURLINGTON, ON, Nov. 26, 2015 /CNW/ - Boehringer Ingelheim (Canada) Ltd. announced today that its targeted lung cancer treatment, GIOTRIF® (afatinib), has been awarded The Prix Galien Canada – Innovative Product Award. 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.

"GIOTRIF® represents an important milestone in Canadian pharmaceutical history, and we are proud that the Prix Galien Jury has recognized our work with this special award," says Richard Mole, President and CEO, Boehringer Ingelheim (Canada) Ltd. "Treatment innovation in this disease area is critical because lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer death in Canada."

GIOTRIF® was approved by Health Canada in 2013.  It is a targeted monotherapy for the treatment of Epidermal Growth Factor Receptor (EGFR) tyrosine kinase inhibitor naïve patients with metastatic (including cytologically proven pleural effusion) adenocarcinoma of the lung with activating EGFR mutation(s).i Its unique mode of action enables it to block EGFR (ErbB1) as well as the other relevant members of the ErbB Family that are known to play a critical role in the growth and spread of the most pervasive cancers and cancers associated with high mortality.i

"Afatinib is an important addition to the treatment landscape for Canadian lung cancer patients and the medical oncology community," says Dr. Barbara Melosky, a medical oncologist at the BC Cancer Agency and associate professor of medicine at the University of British Columbia. "Lung cancer is not one disease; it requires new approaches to test new combinations of treatments, particularly for the hard-to-treat patient population – a significant need which afatinib has been shown through clinical studies to successfully address.  Afatinib has demonstrated in studies prolonged progression-free survival, improved quality of life, and an overall survival benefit compared with standard chemotherapy in patients with the EGFR mutation."

The Prix Galien Canada - Innovative Product Award is presented to the company that has developed a drug product launched in the Canadian market and judged by the Jury to have made the most significant overall contribution to patient care in Canada in terms of efficacy, safety, benefits and innovation.

About Lung Cancer
According to the Canadian Cancer Society, in 2015 an estimated 26,600 Canadians will be diagnosed with lung cancer, and 20,900 will die from it.ii  More than half of new cancer cases (51 per cent) will be lung, breast, colorectal and prostate cancer.iii Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer death, causing more cancer deaths among Canadians than the other three cancer types combined.iii As the leading cause of cancer death in both men and women in Canadaiv, it's estimated an average of 57 Canadians die from the disease every day.ii

Lung cancer is also grossly under researched and under-funded. In 2011, it received only 7 per cent of cancer-specific research funding and 0.1 per cent of cancer donations, despite the fact that it causes 27 per cent of cancer-related deaths.iv

Boehringer Ingelheim
The Boehringer Ingelheim group is one of the world's 20 leading pharmaceutical companies. Headquartered in Ingelheim, Germany, Boehringer Ingelheim operates globally with 146 affiliates and a total of more than 47,700 employees. The focus of the family-owned company, founded in 1885, is researching, developing, manufacturing and marketing new medications of high therapeutic value for human and veterinary medicine.

Social responsibility is an important element of the corporate culture at Boehringer Ingelheim. This includes worldwide involvement in social projects, such as the initiative "Making more Health" and caring for the employees. Respect, equal opportunities and reconciling career and family form the foundation of the mutual cooperation. In everything it does, the company focuses on environmental protection and sustainability.

In 2014, Boehringer Ingelheim achieved net sales of about 13.3 billion euros. R&D expenditure corresponds to 19.9 per cent of its net sales.

The Canadian headquarters of Boehringer Ingelheim was established in 1972 in Montreal, Quebec and is now located in Burlington, Ontario. Boehringer Ingelheim employs more than 550 people across Canada.

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i GIOTRIF® Canadian Product Monograph.
ii Canadian Cancer Society. Accessed November 19, 2015
iii Canadian Cancer Society. Canadian Cancer Statistics 2015 pg. 17 Accessed November 19, 2015
iv Charity Intelligence Canada: Cancer in Canada. April 2011. Page 39.

SOURCE Boehringer Ingelheim (Canada) Ltd.

Image with caption: "In this photo (from left): Cheryl Cann, Therapeutic Director, Oncology, Boehringer Ingelheim Canada; Dr. Norman Campbell, Dr. Theodore Warkentin; Dr. John Kelton; Dr. John Bergeron (CNW Group/Boehringer Ingelheim (Canada) Ltd.)". Image available at:

For further information: Sheba Zaidi, Environics Communications, 416-969-2652 /; Jennifer Mota, Boehringer Ingelheim (Canada) Ltd., 905 631-4739 /

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