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William S. Hancock Award 2017
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2017 Hancock Award Winner John C. Petricciani


CASSS Board member Wassim Nashabeh, right, presents John Petricciani with the Hancock Award
at the 21st Annual WCBP Symposium in Washington, D.C., January 2017.


CASSS has honored John Petricciani, MD, a former director of biologics at the FDA, with its prestigious Hancock Award for Outstanding Achievements in CMC Regulatory Science.

This annual award recognizes outstanding and sustained contributions in the field of regulatory science. Petricciani was announced as the 2017 honoree during CASSS’s 21st Symposium on the Interface of Regulatory and Analytical Sciences for Biotechnology Health Products (commonly referred to as WCBP), held in Washington, D.C., Jan. 24 through 26.

“It is a special honor to receive the Hancock Award from CASSS this year,” Petricciani said after accepting the award, “and I’m very grateful for the recognition of the contributions I’ve made to regulatory science over the past five decades.”

In his comments to introduce this year’s honoree, CASSS Vice President Wassim Nashabeh shared highlights of Petricciani’s long career in biologics. Among his achievements:

  • He discovered that bacteriophage was a common contaminant of many childhood vaccines and conducted studies to confirm that they posed no serious health risk to children receiving the vaccines.
  • He worked with industry and WHO to help establish safety standards for diploid cells used to produce human vaccines.
  • He published a landmark paper that paved the way for the eventual opening of hundreds of clinical research studies of products manufactured in continuous cell lines, and eventually for over 70 currently licensed products.

Petricciani’s illustrious career included serving as chief medical officer for biologicals at the World Health Organization, vice president of medical and regulatory affairs for the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America, vice president of regulatory affairs at Genetics Institute, and senior vice president of medical and regulatory affairs at CancerVax. He is the immediate past president of the International Alliance for Biological Standardization.

“John has led the biologicals community for many decades from regulatory, industry, and trade association perspectives,” Nashabeh said.

“It was my privilege to have helped nurture – and sometimes nudge – the regulatory systems to accommodate to the many advances that have been made during the past 50 years,” Petricciani said.

“Real progress is made when industry and regulatory authorities tackle a problem together on the basis of sound scientific principles and hard data that support decision-making.”




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