Alexion Pharmaceutical France and Alexion Pharmaceuticals have been awarded the 2009 Prix Galien France for its Soliris treatment in the rare diseases category.

The award recognises the complement-inhibition technology of Soliris as an innovative treatment for patients with paroxysmal nocturnal hemoglobinuria (PNH), a rare and life-threatening blood disorder.

Alexion International president and Alexion senior vice-president Patrice Coissac said the company was gratified by this award and by the opportunity to improve the lives of patients with PNH.

“Alexion is committed to the objective that every patient with PNH who can benefit from Soliris will have access to Soliris,” Coissac said.

Soliris is a complement inhibitor that selectively blocks the formation of terminal complement, a component of the normal immune system.

Patients with PNH lack naturally occurring proteins that would ordinarily prevent terminal complement from causing the red blood cell destruction (hemolysis) that is central to the serious morbidities and mortality associated with PNH.

The Prix Galien award was established in France in 1970 to recognise and promote significant advances in pharmaceutical research and is among the industry’s highest accolades.