Dr. Edouard Sakiz, CEO of Exelgyn, has been awarded the rare distinction of Commander of the Legion of Honor by French Prime Minister Lionel Jospin. The ranking is one of the highest awarded by the French Government. As CEO of Roussel Uclaf, Dr. Sakiz pioneered the development of RU486 (now known as mifepristone in the U.S. and mifegyne in the rest of the world), which is a method of early pregnancy termination that also shows promise as a treatment for other serious diseases and conditions that afflict women.
Dr. Sakiz served as Roussel Uclaf CEO and then Chair of the company’s supervisory committee until 1995, when he formed Exelgyn and was awarded the worldwide (non-USA) patent rights to mifepristone. In addition to continuing to supply the medication for women in France, Great Britain, and Switzerland, Exelgyn has now made it available in Finland, Germany, Israel, Russia, Luxemburg, Norway, and Spain.
Sakiz also is the recipient of the French honors of Knight of the Legion of Honor (1979) and Officer of the Legion of Honor (1991). In 1994, Dr. Sakiz, along with his colleague Dr. Catherine Euvrard, received a Feminist of the Year award for his leadership in developing mifepristone and in transferring U.S. patent rights to the Population Council. The FDA is expected to act on the Population Council’s application for approval of the breakthrough medication by September 30, 2000.