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Heinrich Wieland Prize 2005 and Gold Medal for lifetime achievements awarded

Ingelheim and Munich/Germany, 4 November 2005 – Prof. Helen H. Hobbs from the University of Texas Southwestern Medical School, is the winner of the Heinrich Wieland Prize 2005. She received the award and the prize money of € 25,000 at the Ludwig-Maximilians-University in Munich today. On the same occasion, Prof. Karl Decker from Freiburg was honoured with the Heinrich Wieland Medal in Gold.

Prof. Hobbs received the award that is sponsored by Boehringer Ingelheim for her research into cholesterol homeostasis at a genetic level. The findings are important because they may help to identify those individuals who are at risk of developing coronary atherosclerosis. The discovery of genetic differences that affect levels of cholesterol in the blood provides new targets for the development of drugs that lower plasma cholesterol levels and the incidence of heart attacks.

“Providing value through innovation is one of our company’s key principles,” said Dr Dr Andreas Barner, Vice Chairman of the Board of Managing Directors and Head of Research, Development and Medicine at Boehringer Ingelheim. “High quality basic research is the prerequisite for research and development towards new therapeutic options. We are delighted to offer this award and to honour Prof. Hobbs outstanding scientific achievement as it also underlines our support of the research community.”

During the ceremony, Prof. Karl Decker from Freiburg received the Heinrich Wieland Medal in Gold. In the long history of the award, this medal has only been offered twice. It honours the lifetime achievement of outstanding scientists.

“It is my great pleasure to present the Medal in Gold to Prof. Decker today,” said Prof. Nepomuk Zöllner, chairman of the Board of Trustees. “The Board wishes to recognise his achievements as a pioneer of biochemical research and an outstanding scientist who inspired those who had the privilege to work with him.”

Heinrich Wieland Prize

The Heinrich Wieland Prize is named in recognition of the German Nobel prize-winner Prof. Heinrich Otto Wieland. It has been awarded annually since 1964 and highlights research in lipids and related substances in chemistry, biochemistry, physiology and clinical medicine. The prize is among the most coveted international science awards and has a history of over 40years. To date it has been presented to 57 scientists. The outstanding reputation of the prize is reflected in the list of the former prize winners many of whom are world-renowned scientists. Michael S. Brown and Joseph L. Goldstein from Dallas, Texas/ USA, who received the Heinrich Wieland Prize in 1974, were awarded the Nobel Prize in medicine in 1985. Boehringer Ingelheim has sponsored the award since 2000.

Heinrich Wieland Medal in Gold

The Heinrich Wieland Medal in Gold is awarded in recognition of the lifetime achievement of outstanding scientists. It has previously been awarded twice to distinguish Prof. Gotthard Schettler in 1989 and Prof. Theodor Wieland in 1995.

Boehringer Ingelheim

The Boehringer Ingelheim group is one of the world’s 20 leading pharmaceutical companies. Headquartered in Ingelheim, Germany, it operates globally with 144 affiliates in 45 countries and nearly 36,000 employees. Since it was founded in 1885, the family-owned company has been committed to researching, developing, manufacturing and marketing novel products of high therapeutic value for human and veterinary medicine.

In 2004, Boehringer Ingelheim posted net sales of 8.2 billion euro while spending nearly one fifth of net sales in its largest business segment Prescription Medicines on research and development.