Winners of the Premio Galeno 2017 Announced

The “Nobel Prize” of Pharmaceuticals

The final round of evaluation included 10 drugs and 60 researchers, who competed for the gold medal in Innovation and Research which was awarded by an independent scientific committee. 

Stefano Vella (President of the Italian Drug Authority, AIFA): “The Premio Galeno represents an example of Italian excellence”. 

Milan, 22 June 2017

This morning, at the Palazzo dei Giureconsulti, the final ceremony of the prestigious Premio Galeno Italy 2017 took place. The Premio Galeno, awarded by numerous countries worldwide, is considered as the “Nobel Prize” in the pharmaceutical field.

The Award for Drug Innovation, reserved for pharmaceutical companies, is divided into five categories: Ocaliva of Intercept Pharma (category: Chemical Synthesis Drug Award), Praxbind® of Boehringer Ingelheim (category “Biological Drug Award”), Strimvelis® of GSK (category “Orphan Drug Award”), Gardasil 9® of MSD (category “Immunologic Drug Award”) and Gilenya® of Novartis (category “Real World Evidence Award”). The committee bestowed an honorable mention to Zepatier of MSD (category Chemical Synthesis Drug Award).

The winners ex aequo of the Award for Clinical or Experimental Research, reserved for young researchers, are Dr. Matteo di Minno (Department of Advanced Biomedical Sciences-University of Naples “Federico II”) and Dr. Irene Paterniti (Department of Chemical, Biological, Pharmaceutical and Environmental Sciences-University of Studies, Messina).

The candidates for the Premio Galeno were evaluated by an independent scientific committee, chaired by Professor Pier Luigi Canonico, from the University of Studies, Eastern Piedmont “Amedeo Avogadro”. The committee received no monetary contribution for its participation.

Announcing the results, Professor Canonico commented: “Every year we ask that the award applicants be of higher quality and number than those of the previous year. This year, we were not disappointed; we received 60 applications from young researchers, in addition to 10 drugs that were evaluated in the final round as possible winners.

“I am honored to have taken part in the judging for the Premio Galeno. This represents an Italian excellence and an example of evaluation based on scientific rigor,” declared Stefano Vella, President of AIFA (Italian Drug Authority). “I was able to observe the complete independence of the selection process for the most innovative drugs”.

Professor Vella was a member of the evaluation committee for the Premio Galeno until April 2017, a role that he had to leave in order to fulfill his institutional duties.

“The first edition of the Premio Galeno Italy took place in 1992, the year that also coincides with the foundation of Springer Italy. To celebrate the 25th anniversary, we also wanted to create a special award reserved exclusively to drugs that had already won during a previous Italian edition of the Galeno. The special award considered “Real World Evidence (RWE)” that encompasses the complex post-approval studies that confirm or redefine the efficacy and the safety of a drug in the context of normal clinical practice”, explained Alessandro Gallo, the General Manager of Springer Healthcare Italy, a scientific publishing company that organized the Italian edition of the Premio.

THE HISTORY OF THE PREMIO GALENO. It was established for the first time in France in 1970 with the objective to promote the most significant advances in the field of pharmaceutical research. Today the Premio Galeno is considered the equivalent of the Nobel Prize for the pharmaceutical sector and as the highest recognition of research and development in this field.

The prestige of the Premio Galeno in France motivated other countries to commit to this important initiative. Germany, Holland, the United Kingdom, and Italy were among the first to institute a national Premio Galeno in the 1980s. As a result, other nations outside of Europe also followed such as Canada, the United States, Israel, and Russia.

The last Italian edition of the Premio Galeno took place in Milan in 2015. On that occasion, the drugs Opdivo® (Bristol-Myers Squibb) and Keytruda® (Merck Sharp & Dome) were proclaimed the winners ex aequo of the Award for Drug Innovation, while Holoclar (Chiesi) received an honorable mention from the committee.

SPRINGER HEALTHCARE ITALIA ( – It is a business unit of the Springer Nature group (, that publishes more than 700 indexed journals with an impact factor in the scientific and biomedical fields, many of which are the official organs of important Italian and international scientific societies. The multinational editorial group of Springer Nature consists of 12,000 employees in about 50 countries: the office of Milan employs about 60. Springer Healthcare is specialized in the development of innovative content and solutions for communication that include advisory boards and board meetings, materials for doctors and patients, independent medical information, continuing education credits and distance learning, and innovative digital solutions for websites and apps. In addition, Springer Healthcare distributes exclusive content of important societies for example ASCO and ASH.

Translated by Ellen Deutsch and Claudio Oliveri

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