Noujaim, Dr. Antoine A.
1997 Alberta Technology, Recipient
Dr. Antoine Noujaim is both a leading scientist and a first-class entrepreneur with a strong commitment to Biotechnology and cancer therapeutics. The Judges were impressed with his ability to recognize the potential of his fundamental studies in the market place. Research from his laboratory resulted in the formation of Biomira, one of Canada’s largest biotechnology companies and the first to go public nationally on the Toronto Stock Exchange. After providing initial direction to the company, he returned to The University of Alberta and founded the Noujaim Institute to further his passion for cancer research. In 1995, he founded a second company, AltaRex Inc., and within six months took it public. Under Dr. Noujaim’s leadership, AltaRex has built up a staff of 51 highly-skilled scientists in only two years and is developing products based on a proprietary technology at an incredibly rapid pace. AltaRex’s first product, Ovarex™, a therapeutic vaccine for ovarian cancer, is currently in Phase II/III clinical trials in Canada, Europe and the US. Two additional products for the treatment of breast cancer and gastrointestinal cancer will enter Phase I/II clinical trials in 1998. After giving serious consideration to some very attractive concessions from other provinces, Dr. Noujaim was not swayed and kept AltaRex in Alberta. His vision and energy are an enormous asset to the Alberta economy and biotechnology community.