Biotech's Helix Award Honors Top Performers

                  Onyx Pharmaceuticals and Actelion 
  NEW YORK, Feb. 25 /PRNewswire/ -- Onyx Pharmaceuticals Inc. and Actelion
Ltd. have won the 2004 James D. Watson Helix Awards.  The winners, selected by
peer vote on the basis of their 2003 performance, are being honored today at a
BIO CEO & Investor Conference plenary luncheon. 
"These companies exemplify the ideals of the Helix Award, the
biotechnology industry's highest company honor," said BIO President Carl B.
Feldbaum.  "In 2003, both advanced new therapies for unmet medical needs and
delivered outstanding returns to investors." 
During 2003, the winner in the mid-cap company category, Onyx
Pharmaceuticals (Nasdaq: ONXX), focused its resources to rapidly advance the
clinical development of its lead compound, an oral cancer product now in Phase
III testing for kidney cancer. 
"We are humbled and honored to have been selected by our industry peers
for this prestigious award," said Hollings C. Renton, Onyx's president and
CEO.  "Together with our collaborator, Bayer, we made important scientific and
clinical progress with our lead anti-cancer compound, BAY 43-9006, culminating
in the initiation of the first pivotal Phase III trial." 
Actelion Ltd. (SWX: ATLN), the international winner, is a
biopharmaceutical company headquartered in Allschwil, Switzerland.  Actelion
markets two products: Tracleer, an orally available endothelin receptor
antagonist for pulmonary arterial hypertension, and Zavesca, an oral Gaucher's
disease drug. 
"Actelion is very proud to be recognized and honored by its peers in the
United States for our work in helping to improve the health and lives of
people everywhere," said CEO Jean-Paul Clozel, M.D.  "2003 was a significant
year for us as we achieved critical milestones by not only successfully
supporting our products Tracleer and Zavesca in the market place, but also by
achieving important milestones in research and clinical trials." 
Genentech, of South San Francisco, received the Helix Award in the large-cap category Feb. 24. 
The James D. Watson Helix Award honors leadership in three distinct areas:
scientific innovation, company growth and corporate citizenship.  It is
presented by the Long Island Life Sciences Initiative (LILSI) and is jointly
sponsored by BIO, Stony Brook University and The Center for Biotechnology. 
The competition is open to public and private, U.S. or foreign-based
biotechnology companies.  An independent panel of judges reviewed this year's
LILSI is a not-for-profit trade association created to address issues of
strategic importance to the biotechnology, pharmaceutical, medical device and
life science technology-based industries.  LILSI advocates on behalf of public
policy that will improve the Long Island region's business climate for life
science companies and enhance the research and business infrastructure that is
vital to their success. More information on LILSI can be found at 
BIO represents more than 1,000 biotechnology companies, academic
institutions, state biotechnology centers and related organizations in all 50
U.S. states and 33 other nations.  BIO members are involved in the research
and development of health-care, agricultural, industrial and environmental
biotechnology products.  For more information, please visit

SOURCE  Biotechnology Industry Organization 

    -0-                             02/25/2004
    /CONTACT:  Debbie Strickland of BIO, +1-202-962-9200/
    /Web site:

CO:  BIO; Onyx Pharmaceuticals Inc.; Actelion Ltd.; Long Island Life Sciences 
 Initiative; Biotechnology Industry Organization; LILSI
ST:  District of Columbia, New York
-0- Feb/25/2004 18:29 GMT
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