Vancouver, British Columbia, March 14, 2008 – LifeSciences British Columbia today announced the recipients of the 2008 LifeSciences British Columbia Awards (previously known as the British Columbia Biotechnology Awards). They are:

• Dr. Don Riddle for Genome BC Award for Scientific Excellence Award
• Pyng Medical Corporation for Medical Device Company of the Year Award
• Bob Rieder for Executive of the Year Award
• Dr. Bernie Bressler and Roger Foxall for Lifetime Achievement Award
• Dr. Martin Taylor for Leadership Award
• Lignol Energy Corporation for Emerging Life Sciences Company of the Year Award

These awards are presented annually by LifeSciences British Columbia to recognize individuals and organizations that have made outstanding contributions to the development of British Columbia’s life sciences industry, and to increase public awareness and understanding of life sciences in the province.

“The strength of the life sciences community in BC is exemplified by this slate of impressive award recipients, who represent the remarkable breadth of talent found across the many sectors in our province,” commented Karimah Es Sabar, President of LifeSciences British Columbia.  “We’re delighted to be making our 10th annual awards this year, and that the achievements being made here are so strong and reflective of our diversity in the life sciences.  We extend our warmest congratulations to this year’s winners.”

The awards will be presented at a gala ceremony April 10th in front of an audience of approximately 600 biotechnology, medical devices and greater life sciences and public policy leaders at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in Vancouver (please visit www.lifesciencesbc.ca for full details).

The LifeSciences British Columbia Awards are presented by Ernst & Young; Farris, Vaughan, Wills & Murphy, LLP; Genome British Columbia; Raymond James; and Rx&D (Canada’s Research-Based Pharmaceutical Companies). Media sponsor: Business in Vancouver Magazines.


About the Recipients:


Genome BC Award for Scientific Excellence
Dr. Don Riddle

Dr. Riddle, Professor in the Michael Smith Laboratories at UBC, is a pre-eminent life sciences scholar focused on C.elegans, a microscopic free-living worm (nematode) that possesses only 959 somatic cells, but shares many of the essential biological characteristics central to human biology.
Among his many accomplishments, he is internationally credited with being one of the founding scientists that established the preliminary framework of genetics tools that led to sequencing of the nematode. This early work in genetics and genomics sciences was the precursor and established the paradigm upon which the human genome was modeled.
In 2004 he was recruited to become Genome BC’s first Chief Scientific Officer where he developed a scientific strategy for the organization focusing on genomics, proteomics and bioinformatics within the larger scope of biotechnology and life sciences in the province.  In addition he fostered the development of a Canadian Proteomics Network and expanded collaborations to include scientists at the University of Northern British Columbia and the University of Victoria.  Today the UBC-based Riddle Laboratory is linked to dozens of others around the world including in Scotland, the Netherlands and the United States.


Medical Device Company of the Year Award
Pyng Medical Corporation
David Christie, President & CEO

Pyng Medical Corporation is the developer and manufacturer of the proprietary, award-winning FAST1™ Intraosseous Infusion System.  Pyng was selected in the "2007 TSX Venture 50" Top 10 companies in Life Sciences based on solid financial metrics for the year ending December 31, 2006.  With expanding markets in North America, Europe and Asia, the FAST1™ has worldwide application for use with hospitals, emergency medical services and military forces. Pyng has shipped over 120,000 FDA-cleared and CE-marked FAST1 systems to date.
As part of its on-going commitment to technology innovation, the Company is developing next generation intraosseous products and aggressively exploring acquisition and in-licensing opportunities to broaden its product portfolio with complimentary technologies.  Pyng recently received US FDA market clearance and commercially launched a new and improved FAST1 system with a re-engineered infusion tube that no longer requires the use of a removal tool.  Pyng also continues to expand its patent portfolio and has applied for trademark protection on Chest is Best™, reinforcing the benefits of rapid infusion through their unique FAST1 sternal line.

Executive of the Year Award
Bob Rieder, Chairman and CEO, Cardiome Pharma Corporation

Mr. Rieder has led Cardiome Pharma Corp. since 1998 and has driven the development of multiple drug programs, including vernakalant, Cardiome’s lead product candidate for the treatment of atrial fibrillation.

 Cardiome Pharma Corp. is a product-focused cardiovascular drug development company with two late-stage clinical drug programs focused on atrial arrhythmia (intravenous and oral dosing), a Phase 1 program for GED-aPC, an engineered analog of recombinant human activated Protein C, and a pre-clinical program directed at improving cardiovascular function.

Bob Rieder is Cardiome’s Chairman and Chief Executive Officer.  He joined Cardiome in April 1998 as President and Chief Executive Officer.  Prior to joining Cardiome he was Vice-President at MDS Ventures Pacific Inc., the Vancouver-based affiliate of MDS Capital Corp, and has served as a director for nine public and private technology companies. Mr. Rieder has also acted as Chief Operating Officer for DBA Telecom Inc., and CEO for Synapse Technologies Inc.  


Lifetime Achievement Award (two recipients)
Dr. Bernie Bressler & Dr. Roger Foxall

Dr. Bressler has demonstrated a lifelong commitment to life sciences research and has a passionate belief in the value of commercializing intellectual property from universities and research hospitals.  During his tenure as Vice President of Research at the University of British Columbia (1996-1999), he was actively involved in the growth of the University Industry Liaison Office, which has become a world leader in development and management of technology transfer and biotechnology spin-offs.  It is because of his foresight and leadership in this area that UBC scientists are amongst the nation’s leaders in translational medical research.  Since 1996, he has served as a Board member of Discovery Parks , and in 2007 was appointed Chair of the Board of Discovery Parks and Discovery Parks Foundation.

Dr. Foxall was instrumental in mobilizing the nascent genomics community leading to the establishment of Genome British Columbia, one of six centres across the country funded partly by Genome Canada through Industry Canada. In serving as its founding President and CEO through 2002 and subsequently as its Executive Vice President Research and Executive Vice President Corporate Development until 2005, he demonstrated leadership in initiating global and Canadian partnerships between universities, research centres, governments and the private sector. Dr. Foxall then established Life Science Strategies Inc. and has worked with numerous organizations across Canada specializing in strategic analysis and c
onsultation in genome sciences, marine biosciences and other areas of life sciences.


Leadership Award
Dr. Martin Taylor

Dr. Taylor began his career as an Assistant Professor in Geography at McMaster University in 1974 after completion of his Ph.D. at the University of British Columbia. His key career legacy is the demonstrated value of interdisciplinary inquiry which led to the creation of several institutes and departments demonstrating that philosophy. In 1994 and 1995, Dr. Taylor served as McMaster’s acting Vice-President Research and in that role established the Institute for Water, Environment, and Health.  It is the first and still sole branch of the United Nations University in Canada.
Dr. Taylor’s research leadership role was expanded when he was recruited to the University of Victoria in 1998 as its first Vice-President Research. During his tenure, until 2007, research programs experienced unprecedented growth from $20 million to $100 milllion. This expansion also saw the creation of major national research platforms including NEPTUNE Canada, the world’s first regional cabled deep ocean observatory and VENUS, its sister coastal observatory. Together they represent a $100 million investment. Dr. Taylor was also instrumental in the establishment of a national proteomics platform in partnership with Genome British Columbia and Genome Canada, which serves international clientele from the private sector, government and academia.


Emerging Life Sciences Company of the Year Award
Lignol Energy Corporation
Ross MacLachlan, President & CEO

Over the past three years Lignol Energy Corporation, of Burnaby, BC, has emerged from being a predominantly R&D organization into one that is approaching commercialization of its unique biorefinery technology. Lignol’s technology is now at the forefront of the highly visible and rapidly developing biofuels-from-cellulosic-biomass industry, which has the strong support and encouragement of governments and major corporations around the world.
The basis of Lignol’s process is an ethanol-based modified organosolv technology that separates and recovers the various components of wood (or agricultural fibers) into a series of useful and renewable fuels and chemical products. This technology is therefore important for both climate change reasons and also for renewable energy to supplement or replace fuels and chemicals presently produced from crude oil and natural gas.
Lignol has established a new Biorefining Technology Development Centre at the BCIT campus in Burnaby. At an approximate cost to Lignol of $15 million, the new technology centre will be one of the most advanced facilities for biorefining R&D in the world.