Genesis Awards Gala: A Tribute to the people building Quebec's life science industry



    MONTREAL, March 29 /CNW Telbec/ - The Genesis Awards Gala, the most
prestigious event of its kind in Quebec's biotechnology, health technology and
life science industry was held last night in Montreal. At the gala, several
leaders and companies active in Quebec's life science industry received
well-deserved recognition.
    The Genesis Awards Gala took place as part of the BIOMEDEX 2007
convention-exhibition. Organized by the BIOQuebec network and presented by The
Biotech City, this gala seeks to pay tribute to the dedicated work done by the
companies, groups and individuals who have made a significant contribution to
the development of biotechnology, the life sciences and health technology in
the Province of Quebec. More than 500 industry stakeholders attended the event
at the Sheraton Laval hotel.
    The Genesis Awards were presented to Paladin Laboratories
(Entrepreneurship - Biotechnology - Biopharmaceutical); ART Advanced Research
Technologies Inc. (Entrepreneurship - Health Technology); Victhom Human
Bionics (Innovation); Bioniche Life Sciences (Transfer - Emergence); and the
Infectious Disease Research Centre at Université Laval (Biotechnology for
tomorrow). The Genesis Brio Award was given to Mr. Jonathan Goodman, founding
President and CEO of Paladin Laboratories. Finally, Dr. Michel Saucier, an
entrepreneur and philanthropist, was inducted into the prestigious Excelcia
Club.

    Paladin Laboratories (Entrepreneurship - Biotechnology -
    Biopharmaceutical)

    Paladin Laboratories Inc. is a Canadian biopharmaceutical company devoted
to the commercialization of innovative urology, endocrinology and women's
health products intended for the Canadian market. Since its creation in 1996,
Paladin has reported 11 consecutive years of record revenues and a compound
annual growth rate in sales of 96%. In 2006, Paladin Laboratories reported
record revenues of $48.4 million, representing a 44% increase over the
previous year. Its before-tax profit was $15.5 million, an increase of 65%.
Paladin boasts a solid portfolio made up of more than 50 products and it also
owns exclusive Canadian rights to four products awaiting approval and seven
others that are in Phase 1, 2 and 3 clinical trials.

    ART Advanced Research Technologies Inc. (Entrepreneurship -
    Health Technology)

    Founded in 1993 and led by Sébastien Gignac, ART Advanced Research
Technologies Inc., is a leader in the optical molecular imaging sector,
developing products for the healthcare and pharmaceutical industries. ART's
proprietary time domain (TD) optical imaging technology enables researchers
and clinicians to observe biological processes, in vivo, at the molecular
level. This technology delivers functional (physiological) data that can be
used in the diagnosis and treatment of many diseases, as well as in drug
development. In 2006, ART's Softscan product successfully navigated through
the CE marking and Health Canada's exacting regulatory parameters and is thus
ready to be commercialized in Canada and Europe. ART continues to increase its
market share in the pre-clinical optical imaging sector by promoting the sale
of its eXplor Optix device, and that of its Fenestra contrast products
regarding which it has entered into a distribution agreement with
GE Healthcare for the Japanese market.

    Victhom Human Bionics (Innovation)

    Founded in 2000, Victhom Human Bionics is a publicly traded company
listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange that specializes in the development and
commercialization of bionic devices to help people suffering from physical
dysfunctions. Its Biotronix business unit has developed what is the most
widely known of the Victhom devices, the Power Knee, invented by Stéphane
Bédard, the founder of Victhom. The Power Knee is a lower limb prosthesis
intended for people who have been amputated above the knee.
    The Neurobionix unit seeks to develop and commercialize implantable
devices for use in the treatment of various pathologies. These devices combine
the detection and interpretation of electrical signals coming from peripheral
nerves, as well as the electrical stimulation of peripheral nerves.

    Bioniche Life Sciences (Transfer - Emergence)

    Started in Ontario in 1979, Bioniche is a totally integrated Canadian
biopharmaceutical company that conducts research, develops, manufactures and
commercializes proprietary products intended for the human and animal health
markets worldwide. Founded and presided by Graeme McRae, Bioniche began its
Montreal operation in 1997 with research and development laboratories that
today employ more than 40 researchers and other professionals specialized in
the biopharmaceutical domain. Bioniche focuses its attention in several
strategic sectors, including the development of a cattle vaccine to help
prevent the contamination of food, water and the environment by the E. coli
bacteria O157:H7.
    One of the noteworthy events for Bioniche in 2006 was the approval given
to it by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to undertake two Phase III
clinical trials regarding the treatment of bladder cancer with the company's
proprietary Mycobacterial Cell Wall-DNA Complex (MCC - trademarked as
Urocidin).

    Infectious Disease Research Centre at Université Laval (Biotechnology for
    tomorrow)

    The Infectious Disease Research Centre, the CRI, at Université Laval is
directed by Dr. Michel G. Bergeron whose mission is to nurture a centre of
expertise and excellence in the infectiology domain and an environment to
train researchers. Several dozen fundamentalists and clinical researchers work
there side by side developing new rapid DNA-based diagnostic tests, which will
help decrease resistance to antibiotics by reducing the improper use of the
latter.
    In February 2006, a significant team of researchers brought together
different technologies to develop a CD reader that reads DNA. This device, a
veritable miniaturized laboratory, will provide the means for identifying
microbes and their resistance genes in only a few minutes, instead of taking
anywhere from 24 to 48 hours, as is currently the case. This CD technology
could also be used to help identify microbes that could potentially be used by
bioterrorists, as well as those encountered in the agri-food industry and in
the environment.

    Brio Award

    The Brio Award was presented to the founding President and CEO of Paladin
Laboratories, Mr. Jonathan Goodman.
    Paladin Laboratories gives a new lease of life to older brands acquired
from multinational pharmaceutical corporations, acquires Canadian rights to
drugs that would benefit from promotion and products with promising potential
in the latter stages of development, puts them on the market and distributes
them across Canada.
    The company has been recognized notably as one of the 50 best managed
companies in Canada by the National Post, and as one of the fastest growing
technology companies by Profit Magazine.
    Jonathan Goodman has received numerous distinctions including the Top 40
Under 40 from the Globe and Mail, the Sam Steinberg award for entrepreneurial
excellence and the title of Quebec Entrepreneur of the Year in the life
sciences, awarded by the National Post and the firm Ernst & Young.
    Mr. Goodman is also involved in various philanthropic causes in the arts,
health and education milieus, as well as in the area of providing assistance
to developing countries.

    Excelcia Club

    This year, the Genesis Award jury has decided to honour Dr. Michel
Saucier, an entrepreneur and philanthropist, for his exceptional career.
Dr. Saucier boasts more than 30 years of experience in the biopharmaceutical
sector. He was the Founder and Chairman of the Board of Sabex, a private
company that developed injectable products. In June 2004, Novartis officially
acquired Sabex for the sum of US$565 million. Today, the company has been
integrated into the Sandoz subsidiary in Boucherville.
    Mr. Saucier has a Doctor of Pharmacy degree from Université de Montréal,
and along with his wife, Ms. Gisèle Beaulieu, they have contributed $5 million
to create a pharmacogenomics research centre at Université de Montréal that
bears their names and that will open its doors this year. In 2002, he also
supported the creation of a research chair on drug usage amongst senior
citizens at the same university.
    He has likewise played a key role at the Fondation Armand-Frappier at the
Institut national de la recherche scientifique by setting up an endowment fund
to grant research fellowships.

    Jury

    The Genesis Awards jury was made up of: Dr. Michel Desrochers, President
of the jury and Executive Director of the Biotechnology Research Institute,
Mr. Bernard Coupal, President of T2C2/Bio, Mr. Daniel Bouthillier, Executive
Director of Research Operations at Merck Frosst Canada Ltd. (Montreal),
Mr. Jean-Maurice Plourde, President and Executive Director of the CQVB -
Centre québécois de valorisation en biotechnologie, Mr. Louis A. Guilbault,
Vice-President of Investment, Life Sciences, Société générale de financement
du Québec - SGF, Mr. Jean Rousseau, Executive Director at Johnson & Johnson
Medical Products, Ms. M. Julie Guay, Market Director and Team Leader at RBC
Financial Group, Ms. Carole Jabet, Vice-President, Scientific Affairs at
Genome Quebec.

    BIOMEDEX is the pre-eminent annual meeting of Canada's life science
industry. It is simultaneously a conference, a business forum and a trade
fair. More than 500 participants from across Canada, the United States and
Europe participated in this year's event, organized by BIOQuebec.

    
            The complete program can be found at: www.biomedex.ca
    




For further information:

For further information: Tammy Peddle, Press Relations, (514) 733-8411,
ext. 203, tpeddle@bioquebec.com; Information & media certification:
www.bioquebec.com, www.biomedex.ca; Source: BIOQuebec

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