Peter D.J. Grootenhuis is awarded the 2018 IUPAC-Richter Prize

The 2018 IUPAC-Richter Prize in Medicinal Chemistry has been awarded to Peter D.J. Grootenhuis.

Peter D.J. Grootenhuis

Peter D.J. Grootenhuis received this award in recognition of his outstanding creative contributions to the invention, discovery and development of ivacaftor (KALYDECO™) which was a transformational event in the treatment of cystic fibrosis (CF). Peter Grootenhuis led the team that not only brought this revolutionary drug to the clinic but also has continued to work in the CF field to extend his work with new drugs to treat CF.

The IUPAC-Richter Prize, comprising a plaque and a check for USD 10,000, will be presented on May 1, 2018 at the 36th National Medicinal Chemistry Symposium in Nashville, TN, USA. The plaque will be signed by Prof. Qi-Feng Zhou, 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. Peter D.J. Grootenhuis will present a lecture at this Symposium and also at the XXVth EFMC International Symposium on Medicinal Chemistry in Ljubljana, Slovenia (September 2-6, 2018).

Peter D.J. Grootenhuis received MSc and PhD degrees in chemistry at the Universities of Utrecht and Twente in the Netherlands. Subsequently, he performed post-doctoral studies in computational chemistry at UC San Francisco, followed by a short sabbatical at Harvard University. He is Senior Director Chemistry at Vertex Pharmaceuticals Incorporated in San Diego. Prior to joining Vertex™ in 2002, he worked at CombiChem-DuPont and Organon. At Vertex, Grootenhuis has been research project leader in the areas of cystic fibrosis and sodium channel blockers for pain. He is co-inventor of two FDA approved drugs to treat CF (ivacaftor, lumacaftor).


IUPAC was formed in 1919 by chemists from industry and academia. For nearly 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.

About Richter
Gedeon Richter Plc. (, headquartered in Budapest/Hungary, is a major pharmaceutical company in Central Eastern Europe, with an expanding direct presence in Western Europe, in China and in Latin America. Having reached a market capitalisation of EUR 3.7 billion (US$ 3.9 billion) by the end of 2016, Richter’s consolidated sales were approximately EUR 1.3 billion (US$ 1.4 billion) during the same year. The product portfolio of Richter covers many important therapeutic areas, including Women’s Healthcare, Central Nervous System, and Cardiovascular areas. Having the largest R&D unit in Central Eastern Europe, Richter’s original research activity focuses on CNS disorders. With its widely acknowledged steroid chemistry expertise, Richter is a significant player in the Women’s healthcare field worldwide. Richter is also active in biosimilar product development.


> Originating call (posted 24 July 2017)

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