The 2020 IUPAC-Richter Prize in Medicinal Chemistry has been awarded to John Macor, PhD, Global Head Integrated Drug Discovery, Sanofi.
Dr. Macor received the award in recognition of his outstanding creative contributions in the field of medicinal chemistry research on drugs for the treatment of migraine. John’s improvements to the triptan core structure fueled the discovery of an effective drug within the class that displayed superior pharmacokinetics compared to the flagship triptan drug at that time, sumatriptan. John Macor is a co-discoverer of two advanced clinical candidates within a new class of small-molecule anti-migraine drugs, the calcitonin gene-related peptide (CGRP) inhibitors. One of these is currently under approval review by the FDA. John Macor’s contributions to drug design and consistent support of medicinal chemistry have earned him this prestigious prize.
The IUPAC-Richter Prize, comprising a plaque and a check for USD 10,000, will be presented at the XXVI EFMC-ISMC International Symposium on Medicinal Chemistry to be held in Basel, Switzerland (6-10 September 2020). The plaque will be signed by Professor Christopher M.A. Brett, President of IUPAC, Gábor Orbán, Chief Executive Officer of Gedeon Richter Plc (Budapest, Hungary), and Professor János Fischer, Chair of the IUPAC-Richter Prize selection committee. John Macor will present an acceptance lecture at this Symposium and a second lecture at the 37th ACS National Medicinal Chemistry Symposium to be held in New York (28 June-1 July 2020).
Dr. Macor earned his Ph.D. degree at Princeton University with Professor E.C. Taylor in 1986. His career has spanned four decades and four different pharmaceutical companies. John began his career at Pfizer in 1986 where he was engaged in a variety of CNS drug discovery efforts. He moved to Astra Arcus in 1994 and focused on cholinergic drug discovery, John then moved to Bristol-Myers Squibb in 1997, where he started in cardiovascular research before transitioning to neuroscience in 2001 and immunoinflammatory research in 2013. In October 2016, he accepted the role as Global Head Integrated Drug Discovery for Sanofi.
This year marks the eighth occasion of the IUPAC-Richter Prize, which was established in 2005 by IUPAC and Richter PLC. Awarded biannually, the awardee is announced by IUPAC following nominations and the decision of an independent international Selection Committee. The lecture in which the prize is awarded occurs alternatively in Europe and in the United States. The previous awardees were : 2006, Malcolm FG Stevens (UK); 2008, Jan Heeres (Belgium); 2010, Arun Ghosh (USA); 2012, Stephen Hanessian (Canada); 2014, Helmut Buschmann (Germany); 2016, Michael Sofia (USA); and 2018, Peter Grootenhuis (USA).
IUPAC was formed in 1919 by chemists from industry and academia. For more than 100 years, the Union has succeeded in fostering worldwide communications in the chemical sciences and in uniting academic, industrial and public sector chemistry in a common language. IUPAC is recognized as the world authority on chemical nomenclature, terminology, standardized methods for measurement, atomic weights and many other critically evaluated data. In more recent years, IUPAC has been proactive in establishing a wide range of conferences and projects designed to promote and stimulate modern developments in chemistry, and also to assist in aspects of chemical education and the public understanding of chemistry. More information about IUPAC and its activities is available at www.iupac.org.
Gedeon Richter Plc. (www.richter.hu), headquartered in Budapest, Hungary, is a major pharmaceutical company in Central Eastern Europe, with an expanding direct presence in Western Europe, China and Latin America. Having reached a market capitalisation of EUR 3.2 billion (USD 3.6 billion) by the end of 2018, Richter’s consolidated sales were approximately EUR 1.4 billion (USD 1.6 billion) during that year. The product portfolio of Richter covers many important therapeutic areas, including Women’s Healthcare, Neuroscience and Cardiovascular medicine. Having the largest R&D unit in Central Eastern Europe and building upon its original focus in CNS disorders and its widely acknowledged steroid chemistry expertise, Richter has also become a significant player in the Women’s Healthcare field worldwide. Richter is also active in biosimilar product development.