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Janssen's medicine for Hepatitis C wins Galenus Prize17/04/2012
Beerse, April 17th 2012 -- Janssen as received its fifth Galenus Prize in recognition of the medicinal value and enormous success of INCIVO® (telaprevir), a medicinal product for the treatment of Hepatitis C. The Galenus Prize was initiated thirty years ago. It is awarded annually to the company with the most outstanding (bio)pharmaceutical innovation of the year.
Throughout the world, Hepatitis C is an insidious killer disease
Hepatitis C is a disease that occurs throughout the world. An estimated 170 million people have been contaminated globally, and an annual increase of 3 to 4 million infections has been recorded.
INCIVO® is a Directly Acting Antiviral (DAA) protease inhibitor. The product has been registered for the treatment of the chronic Hepatitis C virus (HCV) of Genotype 1 in adults, in combination with peginterferon alfa and ribavirin. HCV is an infectious disease transmitted via blood which affects the liver. A chronic form of HCV can lead to liver cancer and other serious and life-threatening liver diseases. In addition to the standard treatment of HCV with peginterferon alfa and ribavirin, the active substance telaprevir halves the current total duration of treatment among most patients who have not been treated previously, and among patients with a recurrent form. The introduction of INCIVO® has meant that chronic HCV patients with Genotype 1 have now been given a better chance of being cured.
INCIVO® (telaprevir) was approved by the European Commission on September 20th 2011.
Belgian development and production
The success of INCIVO® is partly due to the use of spray-dry technology as the production method. Janssen was looking for innovative, cross-sector methods in order to obtain a better solution of the active substance telaprevir. Inspired by a method from the food industry, the company managed to modify the atomization drying process into a successful production method which can be used by pharmaceutical companies. By means of a spray-dryer, a solution can be converted very efficiently into a compact powder without any valuable pharmacological properties being lost in the process. As a pioneer of this pharmaceutical procedure, Janssen considerably increases patient comfort by drastically reducing the number of tablets to be taken. The Janssen site in Geel, equipped with this spray-dry technology, guarantees production for the global market. Janssen hopes that it will be possible to use drying by means of atomization for the production of an increasing number of medicines in the future.
Sonja Willems, Managing Director of Janssen Benelux, said during the award of the prize: “Our medicine INCIVO® beautifully illustrates the unique Belgian roots of our company. The global production, the global research, the preclinical development and the logistics for the international clinical studies were all led and carried out at our research campus in Beerse."
Janssen Benelux forms part of Johnson & Johnson, a business which is active throughout the world, with the broadest package in healthcare products. We concentrate on resolving the most important medical needs of our time. This includes oncology (e.g. prostate cancer and multiple myeloma), immunology (e.g. psoriasis), neurosciences (e.g. schizophrenia, dementia and pain control), infectious diseases (e.g. HIV/AIDS, Hepatitis C and tuberculosis) and cardiovascular and metabolic diseases (e.g. diabetes). Driven by our commitment to patients, we develop sustainable, integrated healthcare solutions by working side by side with care providers.
Person to contact
Stefan Gijssels – Vice President of Communication & Public Affairs
Tel. : 0473/71.04.25