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Vicens Oliver, president of the GAEM Foundation (frontline), with the membres of the jury and the award winners (Photo: © Trifermed).

The GAEM Foundation wins the Trifermed Social Impact in Healthcare Awards

The Multiple Sclerosis Affected Group (GAEM Foundation) –based at  the Barcelona Science Park (PCB)– has been one of the winners of the first edition of the Trifermed Social Impact in Healthcare Awards, which recognizes initiatives with social impact in the field of healthcare. The jury of the awards –organized by per Trifermed with the collaboration of BiocatCataloniaBIO and EsadeCreapolis– was chaired by Montserrat Vendrell, director general of Biocat and PCB.


The awards were presented to the winner today over the course of the Trifermed Social Evening that brought together over 250 international experts in the fields of biotechnology and pharmaceutical industry CaixaForum in Barcelona. Businessperson and art sponsor Antoni Vila Casas; the founder of Archivel Farma, José Martínez, and Fundació Privada DAU for the employment of people with mental disorders were also awarded in this first edition of the awards.

In addition to Montserrat Vendrell, the jury of the awards was composed of representatives with extensive career in the sector: Ignasi Biosca, CEO of Reig Jofré and president of CataloniaBio; Edgar Jordan, CEO of EsadeCreapolis; Ana Maiques, co-founder and CEO of Neuroelectrics; Antoni Villaró, director general of Ferrer; Carlos Gallardo, founder and director general of CG Health Ventures; Clara Campàs, director of strategy and development at Kern Pharma; and Luis Ruiz, founder and CEO of Spherium Biomed.

A sector with economic and social impact

Biomedicine is a high-impact sector. The BioRegió, the cluster of life sciences in Catalonia, has 560 companies (data from December 2014), which employ 35,000 professionals, generating 11,000 million euros, about 6% of the Catalan GDP. The BioRegion includes more than 56 research centers working in the field of life sciences with more than 7,200 employees, 17 university hospitals, 12 technology centers and 16 scientific parks, in addition to two major research infrastructures, the Barcelona Supercomputing Center (BSC-CNS) and the Alba-Cells Synchrotron.

“Countries do not research because they are rich, but rather they are rich because they do research. Health research is one of the most valuable assets that our country has and an undisputed asset to the economy of knowledge”, said Montserrat Vendrell.

Beyond the numbers, however, the sector has a big impact on patient quality of life. “The biomedical industry continually generates headlines, but behind every great headline there are numberless small stories. The  Trifermed  awards aim to make these stories known and encourage the work of other companies, individuals and public institutions also committed to changing the world through biomedicine and pharmacy through the example of the winners”, said Sergi Trilla, CEO of Trifermed.

“It’s a pleasure and a great honor for me to receive this award and I want to share it with all of those who daily and endlessly, work at and collaborate with the GAEM Foundation with the aim of deleting the “incurable” adjective that this disease has been labelled with. I would also like to thank Trifermed for the interest and opportunity it has given us to present our project and for having recognized our work in this field with this award”, said Vicens Oliver, president of the GAEM Foundation.

More than a decade fighting alongside people affected with multiple sclerosis

The GAEM Foundation, Multiple Sclerosis Affected Group, constituted in November 2006 from the association of the same name created in 2003, is an independent non-profit organization whose main objective is to promote biomedical research work to find therapeutic solutions and a cure for this disease by investing in projects in translational biotechnology. The organization also promotes several initiatives to bring scientific advances and knowledge of MS closer to scientists, doctors and patients, and engages in various campaigns and events to sensitize society and raise public awareness.

Since 2006, the GAEM Foundation has been driving the research project  on immune cell therapy, with the support of  Obra Social “la Caixa”. Throughout the year 2015,  Phase Ib clinical trials will be conducted with a small sample of patients at the Hospital Clinic of Barcelona. Another initiative of the Foundation is the “Project Accelerator” -created to strengthen and promote biomedical research that focuses its activity on this disease. Another important initiative is its first recently held scientific symposium- aimed at bringing together the scientific community to call on the newest research projects on multiple sclerosis and optic neuromyelitis- which will open a new cycle of scientific seminars. Located at the Barcelona Science Park, the GAEM Foundation is chaired by Vicens Oliver, affected by the disease since 1993.

Entrepernership to address the social challenges of health

Trifermed, based at EsadeCreapolis, is a consulting firm founded in 2002 by Drs. Sergi Trilla and Marta Fernandez, as a platform for pharmaceutical business development in the field of health sciences.

The Trifermed Social Impact in Healthcare Awards were first granted on the occasion of the 10th anniversary of Trifermed Social Evening, a networking event held annually by the organization for professionals from biopharmaceutical  and biotechnology companies around the world. After a successful first edition of these awards in Canada last February, the Trifermed awards come to Barcelona to recognize the business spirit, social impact and excellence in the field of health.