At a ceremony at the National Press Club Tuesday night, Bio-IT World announced six Grand Prize winners in its third annual Best Practices Awards program.

Grand Prize awards went to GlaxoSmithKline, Harvard Partners Center for Genetics & Genomics, the National Cancer Institute, Pfizer Global R&D, the Translational Genomics Research Institute (TGEN), and U.K. Trade & Investment. In addition, two Editor’s Choice awards were presented to the Broad Institute and the J. Craig Venter Institute.

The awards were presented at the end of a dinner at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C. An audience of 150 people heard guest speeches from H. Thomas Watkins (CEO of Human Genome Sciences), and Howard Asher (Chairman of the Board of Life Sciences Information Technology Global Institute).

The 2005 President’s Award was given to Dr. Leroy Hood, President of the Institute for Systems Biology in Seattle, in recognition of his seminal role in developing automated DNA and protein sequencing technology, as well as his groundbreaking work in the innovative field of systems biology (see Hood Wins President’s Award).

The Best Practices awards were judged by a peer review panel of experts, who reviewed a total of 33 submissions from organizations ranging from large pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies to academic institutions and agencies, detailing best practices in one of six categories.

The winning organizations were recognized for their noteworthy innovations and results in the research, development and manufacture of bio-IT-enabled therapeutics and diagnostics, as well as the underlying business strategies that support them. Grand Prize trophies went to the organizations below within these categories:

The agency, on behalf of the U.K. government, has fostered a regulatory climate to stimulate the creation of promising biopharma companies and research institutes, and launch the first public stem cell bank to afford global access to ethically approved, quality-controlled stem cell lines.

An important and innovative drug safety monitoring system, developed in partnership with Lincoln Technologies, that effectively flags and documents potential adverse events in clinical trials around the world.

Implementation of critical in silico simulation software, developed by Pharsight Corp., which helped decide the fate of a new cardiovascular drug. The modeling approach resulted in huge financial savings and represents a powerful new tool.

Combining the microarray technology of Affymetrix and gene discovery software from Silicon Genetics to develop an industrial-style genotyping pipeline that has led to the rapid localization and identification of dozens of disease genes, including the gene for a form of sudden infant death syndrome.

Developing a groundbreaking integrated genomics gateway – GIGPAD. The gateway’s architectural services, developed in collaboration with Hewlett-Packard, draw together a wide array of research and clinical data – a prime example of the application of information technology in pursuit of personalized medicine.

An exciting example of data analysis in the field of confocal microscopy, produced with the help of Silicon Graphics, resulting in novel visualization, analysis and collaboration capabilities for researchers studying the biological origins of cancer.

Two Editor’s Choice Awards also went to The Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard for its open-source software, GenePattern, that has accelerated the pace of genomic analysis; and the J. Craig Venter Institute for J-LIMS, an exemplary LIMS technology that is being used to spearhead a revolution in high-throughput genomic sequencing and analysis.

The Best Practices awards were adjudged by eight experts from the scientific, IT, and business communities: Jim Golden (Chief Technology Officer , SAIC); Michael Greeley (General Partner IDG Ventures); Stan Kachnowski (Professor of Health Policy and Management, Columbia University); Scott Lundstom (VP Research, Life Science Insights); Brock Reeve (COO & Managing Director, Life Science Insights); Jerald Schindler (Assistant Vice President, Biostatistics & Clinical Information Systems, Wyeth Research); Bill Van Etten (Principal and Co-Founder, The BioTeam); and Susan J. Ward (Founder and Chief Scientific Officer, ThoughtLynx).

Corporate underwriters included IBM, Atipa Technologies, Alexandria Real Estate; ClinPhone, etrials, Integrated Clinical Systems, Level 5 Networks, Medidata Solutions, Target Health, and TurboWorx. Full details of the 2005 Best Practices winners and entries will be published in the August issue of Bio-IT World.

Read about the 2004 and 2003 Best Practices Award Winners.