- The awards, which were first held in 2007, annually recognize the progress made in the field of hemostasis by three different researchers. The company allocates a total of 40,000 euros to encourage research in this field.
- The first prize was awarded to Dr. Lacramioara Ivanciu for her contribution to the development of an innovative protein engineering strategy using rational mutagenesis in hemophilic mice.
The second prize, worth 10,000 euros, was awarded to Dr. Rezan A. Kadir, and the third prize of 5,000 has been granted to Dr. Katherine A. High.
Barcelona, November 6, 2012.- For the fifth consecutive year, Grifols has made the Martín Villar Research Awards on Hemostasis. These prizes reflect the company’s dedication and commitment to scientific research. Since 2007, these international awards recognize the work of scientists and researchers who conduct their investigations in the field of blood coagulation disorders. In addition, with the name of the awards, Grifols pays tribute to Dr. José Martín Villar, a physician and surgeon from Valencia who died recently and who devoted much of his career to advancing knowledge on hematology and more specifically on hemophilia.
At this fifth edition of the awards, the panel of judges, made up of internationally recognized experts in this field, decided to make awards for the original contributions developed by Dr. Lacramioara Ivanciu of the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, USA; Dr. Rezan A. Kadir of the Royal Free Hospital of London, UK; and to Dr. Katherine A. High of the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, USA.
About the award-winning projects:
Reduction in bleeding episodes associated with hemophilia with laboratory engineered proteins using mutagenesis techniques.
The first prize, worth 25,000 euros, has been awarded to Dr. Lacramioara Ivanciu for her innovative strategy in protein engineering by means of rational mutagenesis in hemophilic mice, whereby it is possible to modulate FXa function and avoid bleeding episodes. The publication describes how an Xa Factor variant, structurally homologous to the zymogen -the still inactive enzyme- is able to intervene in the coagulation activation mechanisms and to correct the hemostatic imbalance which leads to bleeding episodes in this illness.
New progress in non-invasive prenatal diagnosis for female carriers of the hemophilia gene
The panel has awarded the second prize, of 10,000 euros to Dr. Rezan A. Kadir for the development of a non-invasive prenatal diagnostic test that analyzes maternal plasma DNA in women carrying specific hemophilia gene mutations who are pregnant with male fetuses. This new technique is able to determine whether the fetus has inherited a causative mutation for hemophilia from its mother.
Targeting of impaired genes in the DNA of hemophilic mice and subsequent restoration of hemostasis
The third and final prize, worth 5,000 euros, was awarded to Dr. Katherine A. High for her research into a reverse-engineered genetic method using zinc finger nucleases. These enzymes are engineered to accurately identify the mutant gene in mice with hemophilia A.
Members of the panel of judges
- Dr. Hans-Hermann Brackmann, former Director Hemophilia Center / Institut für Experimentelle Hämatologie und Transfusionsmedizin Universität Bonn, Germany
- Dr. Manuel Campos, Director of Clinical Hematology at the Hospital General de St. António, Porto, Portugal
- Dr. José Antonio Aznar, Head of the Congenital Coagulation Disorders Unit at the Hospital Universitario La Fe in Valencia, España.
- Dr. Elbio D'Amico, Hospital das Clínicas da Faculdade de Medicina da Universidade de São Paulo, Brazil
- Dr. Augusto Federici, Associate Professor of Hematology, Department of Internal Medicine, University of Milan, Italia
- Dr. Craig Kessler, Professor of Medicine and Pathology, Georgetown University Hospital, Washington DC, USA
Dr. Eva Bastida, Corporate Vicepresident Scientific and Medical Affairs at Grifols, S.A., with functions as Secretary to the Panel of Judges.
Grifols is a world-leading healthcare company recognized for its commitment to people’s health and to scientific research that will improve how patients are cared for, and also benefit society as a whole.
Grifols aim, since the company was established in 1940, is to produce new healthcare solutions based on the therapeutic properties of plasma proteins. The company’s capacity to innovate and its deep-rooted ethical values place it at the forefront of the international biopharmaceutical industry.
Grifols is present in more than 100 countries with a well-balanced diversified range of products. It is currently the third-ranking plasma therapy producer in the world, in terms of production capacity, and the leading European company in this sector.
Grifols has invested in a vertical integration model and will continue to reinforce its leading position in the industry with new investments scheduled in coming years. Grifols also places great importance on its R&D activity, which is focused on discovering solutions and therapies for people affected by plasma protein deficiencies, and on finding new therapeutic indications for plasma derived proteins.