First Look: Endocrine Society Awards inaugural Baxter Prize to Women’s Health Entrepreneur

MHW has learned that French physician and researcher André Ulmann, M.D., Ph.D., won the Endocrine Society’s first-ever John D. Baxter Prize for Entrepreneurship for his advances in women’s health and rare endocrine conditions, the Society announced today.

Ulmann founded HRA Pharma and built the company into a leader in women’s health and treatments for orphan diseases. The company revolutionized the treatment of uterine fibroids, the formation of benign tumors on the uterus that can cause irregular bleeding and reproductive complications, by developing a treatment that reduced the rate of hysterectomy surgeries. In addition, HRA licensed or developed emergency contraceptives and drugs for treating rare conditions including adrenal cancer and hypercortisolism. Ulmann led the company from 1996 to 2009 as CEO and served as chairman until 2016.

Ulmann received the inaugural Baxter Prize at ENDO 2018, the Endocrine Society’s 100th Annual Meeting & Expo, during a ceremony today. The $50,000 prize is awarded biennially to recognize scientists or healthcare providers who have demonstrated entrepreneurship by leveraging endocrine research to improve patient care.

“André Ulmann’s work has improved the lives of thousands of women and patients with rare disorders,” said Endocrine Society President Lynnette K. Nieman, M.D. “His pioneering work bringing new treatments to market in 90 countries has eliminated the need for surgeries for many women with fibroids and improved the quality of patients’ lives. We are thrilled to honor his numerous achievements.”

Before founding HRA Pharma, Ulmann served as Medical Director and Head of Clinical Research for Roussel-Uclaf and Hoechst-Marion-Roussel with global responsibility in the fields of endocrinology, immunology, neurobiology and bone diseases. Prior to that, he was international project leader for the development of mifepristone as medical director of Laboratoire Roussel, France. He identified several potential uses for this molecule, including as an emergency contraceptive and a treatment for uterine fibroids and Cushing’s syndrome.

Ulmann is currently the CEO of Cemag, a service and investment company, and serves as a consultant for several start-up companies. He wrote a book about his career entitled Le Combat D’un Médecin Pour Les Femmes. He was awarded the French Légion d’Honneur.

“It is truly an honor to be the first recipient of the Endocrine Society’s Baxter Prize, which recognizes innovation in our field,” Ulmann said. “I became an entrepreneur because I saw potential to meet women’s unfilled medical needs. I am grateful for the prize, which will support my ongoing work in the women’s health sphere.”

More information on the meeting is available here.

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