TRENTON, N.J. -- (BUSINESS WIRE) -- BioNJ, New Jersey’s trade association for the biotechnology community, announced today that the 2013 Dr. Sol J. Barer Award for Vision, Innovation, and Leadership recipient will be Francois Nader, M.D., president and chief executive officer of NPS Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ: NPSP). Named for Sol J. Barer, Ph.D., founder and former chairman and chief executive officer of Celgene Corporation of Summit, N.J., the award recognizes outstanding research and business leaders who have made significant contributions to the growth and prosperity of the biosciences industry in New Jersey and throughout the world.
Dr. Barer, who serves as Chairman of the BioNJ Board of Trustees, will present the award to Dr. Nader during ceremonies celebrating BioNJ’s 20th Annual Dinner Meeting, Awards Program and Networking Event, which will be held on Feb. 7 from 5:30 to 10:30 p.m. at the Hilton East Brunswick.
BioNJ’s signature event of the year, the Annual Meeting will bring together New Jersey’s biotechnology community to celebrate the many achievements of the industry in 2012 and to discuss the challenges and opportunities ahead. The event will also include a unique fireside chat, Biotech in New Jersey…The Next 20 Years, which will feature industry, financial and academic thought leaders.
“Dr. Nader joined the NPS Pharmaceuticals executive team in 2006 during a critical time in the company’s history,” said Debbie Hart, president and chief executive officer of BioNJ. “NPS had recently relocated to New Jersey from Utah and had experienced a significant regulatory setback. Dr. Nader designed a plan to turnaround the company and transform NPS into a premier orphan drug business, which was recently highlighted by the FDA approval of its lead compound, Gattex for short bowel syndrome. For this and his many other contributions to the biotechnology community, Dr. Nader so richly deserves this award.”
“I’m honored to accept this award and would like to give special thanks to Dr. Sol J. Barer and BioNJ for their recognition,” said Dr. Nader. “NPS is in the midst of an exciting time as we prepare to launch our first drug in the U.S. This award serves as a testament to the company’s and my own personal commitment and passion to bringing therapies to patients with rare disorders who so desperately need new treatment options.”
Dr. Nader has served as president, chief executive officer and a member of the Board of Directors of NPS Pharmaceuticals since 2008. During his tenure, Dr. Nader transformed NPS into a leading biotechnology company focused on treatments for patients with rare disorders in gastroenterology and endocrinology. NPS’ lead product, Gattex for short bowel syndrome, was approved in the United States and Europe in 2012. NPS is also developing Natpara® for a rare endocrine disorder, hypoparathyroidism, and plans to file its Biologic License Application seeking U.S. marketing approval in mid-2013.
Dr. Nader is a 30-year veteran of the healthcare industry. He joined NPS in 2006 as chief medical and commercial officer, and was promoted to chief operating officer in 2007. Previously, Dr. Nader was a venture partner at Care Capital. Beginning in 1993, Dr. Nader served on the North America Leadership Team of Aventis and its predecessor companies and held a number of executive positions including senior vice-president, integrated healthcare markets; senior vice-president, North America medical and regulatory affairs; and vice-president U.S. medical affairs and global health economics and outcome research.
Earlier in his career, Dr. Nader held R&D executive positions at Nordic Labs (Canada) and led the global commercial operations at the Pasteur Vaccines division of Rhone-Poulenc in France.
Dr. Nader earned his French Doctorate in Medicine from St. Joseph University (Lebanon) and his Physician Executive MBA from the University of Tennessee. Dr. Nader currently serves as a trustee, treasurer and a member of the Executive Committee of the BioNJ Board of Trustees.
About the Dr. Sol J. Barer Award
The Dr. Sol J. Barer Award for Vision, Innovation, and Leadership was established by the BioNJ Board of Trustees in March 2008 in an effort to recognize the outstanding research and business leaders who have made and continue to make significant contributions to the growth of the biosciences in New Jersey and around the world. The honoree is voted on by the BioNJ Board of Trustees from a recommendation based on nominations received by the Nominating Committee. The award is named for Sol J. Barer, Ph.D., who founded the biotechnology group at Celanese that was subsequently spun out to form Celgene, currently one of the world’s largest biotechnology companies.
Past award recipients have included Dr. Barer; Dr. Lisa Drakeman, former President and CEO of Genmab; John H. Johnson, President and CEO of Dendreon; John Crowley, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Amicus Therapeutics; and Paul G. Thomas, Founder and CEO of Roka Bioscience.
About BioNJ’s 20th Annual Meeting
Growing in prominence with each year, BioNJ’s Annual Meeting brings together executives of biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies, professional service providers, government officials, academic leaders and others for an evening of networking, business discussions and award presentations. More than 700 people attended the 2012 meeting.
The fireside chat, Biotech in New Jersey…the Next 20 Years, will feature: Dr. Robert L. Barchi, President of Rutgers, The State University; James C. Greenwood, President and CEO of the Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO); Robert J. Hugin, Chairman and CEO of Celgene Corporation; Mary C. Tanner, Managing Director, Peter J. Solomon Company; and Dr. Jesse I. Treu, Partner, Domain Associates. The Wall Street Journal staff writer Jonathan Rockoff will serve as moderator.
About NPS Pharmaceuticals
NPS Pharmaceuticals is a biopharmaceutical company focused on bringing orphan products to patients with rare disorders and few, if any, therapeutic options. The company’s lead product, Gattex® 0.05 mg/kg/d (Teduglutide [rDNA origin]) for Injection, for subcutaneous use is FDA-approved for the treatment of adult patients with short bowel syndrome (SBS) who are dependent on parenteral support. NPS is also developing Natpara® (rhPTH[1-84]) for the treatment of adult hypoparathyroidism and expects to submit its Biologic License Application (BLA) to the FDA in mid-2013. NPS's earlier stage pipeline includes two calcilytic compounds, NPSP790 and NPSP795, with potential application in rare disorders involving increased calcium receptor activity, such as autosomal dominant hypocalcemia with hypercalciuria (ADHH). NPS complements its proprietary programs with a royalty-based portfolio of products and product candidates that includes agreements with Amgen, GlaxoSmithKline, Janssen Pharmaceuticals, Kyowa Hakko Kirin, and Takeda GmbH.
BioNJ is singularly focused on advancing the growth and prosperity of New Jersey’s biotechnology cluster through advocacy initiatives directed at State and federal public policy issues and networking and educational programs that bring the community together. Founded in 1994 by New Jersey industry CEOs, the 300-member organization serves as the voice of biotechnology companies located in New Jersey, seeks to promote their economic growth and development and works to encourage new and established companies from around the world to locate to New Jersey. BioNJ represents companies engaged in biopharmaceutical, biomedical, bioagricultural and bioremedial endeavors.
To learn more about BioNJ and the 2013 Annual Dinner Meeting, please visit www.BioNJ.org.
A photograph of Dr. Nader is available at http://www.bionj.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/01/Francois_Nader.jpg.