The awards are hosted by the Galien Foundation. The Foundation chooses top innovations and new products in the medical technology, biotechnology, and pharmaceutical fields. The award is the Prix Galien USA Award. The 2017 event takes place in October; here there are eleven is the running. Founded in France 45 years ago by pharmacist Roland Mehl, the Foundation was inaugurated in honor of Aelius Galenus (‘Galen’), who is regarded as the father of medical science and modern pharmacology (a prominent Greek physician, surgeon and philosopher in the Roman Empire).
With the eleven products the stipulation from the organizers was that each product needed to have gained U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval leading up to the final date for entry. This caveat is in place in order to confirm that the listed technologies are safe for patients and have supporting clinical data behind them.
To win the prize, the technology needs to demonstrate a clear effect on the wellbeing of human patients. The eleven nominees are:
Abbott – for the CardioMEMS™ HF System
Allergan, Inc. – for the Juvederm Volbella® XC
Biosense Webster – for The THERMOCOOL SMARTTOUCH®, THERMOCOOL
SMARTTOUCH® Surround Flow Catheters and The CARTO SMARTTOUCH™ Software Module
Boston Scientific – for the SpyGlass DS™ Direct Visualization System
Boston Scientific – for the WATCHMAN™ Left Atrial Appendage Closure Device
BrainScope Company, Inc. – for the BrainScope® One
INSIGHTEC – for the Exablate Neuro
Integra LifeSciences – for the Omnigraft™ Dermal Regeneration Matrix
Johnson & Johnson – DePuy Synthes – for the ATTUNE® Knee System
Johnson & Johnson – Ethicon – for the EVARREST® Fibrin Sealant Patch
Koning Corporation – for the Koning Breast CT 1000
Some of the technologies are from established players, others from new entrants into the medical technology field. For example, the Koning Breast CT 1000 is a dedicated breast imaging system that acquires computed tomography (CT) images without compressing the breast. The KBCT produces 3D images to aid in the diagnosis of breast cancer. A second example is the BrainScope One, which is an objective comprehensive head injury assessment device. The machine measures and interprets brain electrical activity and a patient’s neurocognitive function, creating a panel of medical data.
Commenting on the nominee list, Bruno Cohen, chairman of the Galien Foundation stated: “As the realm of scientific discovery and medical innovation shuttles forward, we were thrilled to see so many high-caliber submissions this year. Our Foundation is continually impressed by the achievement of the Prix Galien candidates each year, but 2017 has become a benchmark for future years.”