News from the Societies

XX National Meeting on Medicinal Chemistry
September 12-16, 2010, Abano Terme, Padova (Italy)



The “XX National Meeting on Medicinal Chemistry”, organized by the Medicinal Chemistry Division of the Italian Chemical Society under the auspices of the European Federation of Medicinal Chemistry was held in Abano Terme, a renowned spa town close to Padova on 12-16 September 2010. Continuing a tradition initiated two years ago, the Meeting has strengthened its international character by the use of English as the official language and by the involvement of several foreign speakers both from Academy and Industry. This represented a significant step towards internationalization and allowed young scientists to get in touch with each other, to get acquainted with the recent developments in the Medicinal Chemistry area and to establish fruitful connections with high level research groups.

The following scientific topics were handled:

  • CNS Medicinal Chemistry
  • Epigenetics: a new pathway to Drug Discovery
  • Oncology Medicinal Chemistry
  • Antibacterial and Antiviral Agents
  • Pharmaceutical Profiling Assays in Drug Discovery and Development
  • Drug Design

They are clearly relevant to pharmaceutical research and stimulated wide interest in the scientific community as they aim at rational design, synthesis, analysis and development of innovative drugs.

The Opening Lecture, delivered by K. C. Nicolaou, Scripps Research Institute, La Jolla, California was followed by 7 plenary lectures, 17 main lectures, 24 short communications and about 160 poster presentations in subsequent days.

A specific session has been devoted to the topic: “Science Meets Business” during which speakers from Industry discussed with academic researchers, including post-doctoral fellows , issues concerning R&D from a Company perspective.

Total attendance amounted to 260, with 10% foreign participants. Attendance from Industry was about 12%. These figures are satisfactory, in particular considering the present unfavorable economic trend. Finally, it is worth mentioning that attendance by young researchers and PhD students accounted for about 40% of the total, which points to an increasing interest for pharmaceutical disciplines in Italy.

During the Meeting the prestigious prize Luigi Musaio was awarded to Professor Luisa Mosti, University of Genova, past President of the Medicinal Chemistry Division for outstanding scientific achievements. Finally, two Farmindustria prizes for young promising researches were delivered to Drs. Luciana Marinelli (University of Naples) and Tiziano Tuccinardi (University of Pisa).


22nd Pfizer Poster Symposium

The 22nd Pfizer Poster Symposium was held on the 7th December at the Royal Society of Chemistry in London. A fantastic mix of top-quality science was on display from the 30 PhD students at tending the event, ranging from complex total synthesis and novel synthetic methodologies to cutting edge chemical biology.

The event was attended by a number of Pfizer colleagues and UK-based academics. The judging was carried out by Dr. Don Middleton (Pfizer) and Professor Phil Parsons (Sussex University). Prizes were awarded to Alex Cresswell (Oxford University, Prof. S. Davies group), Elizabeth Jones(Imperial College London, Prof. A. Barrett group) and Stephen Wallace (Oxford University, Dr. M. Smith group).

The overall winner was Alastair Lennox from the Prof. G. Lloyd-Jones group at Bristol University. The organizing committee and Dr. Mark Bunnage (Head of Medicinal Chemistry, Sandwich) would like to extend their thanks to the judge sand their congratulations to the winners!


The Biological and Medicinal Chemistry Sector of the RSC

Continuous Processes & Flow Chemistry (3/4 November 2010, GSK Stevenage)

The Biological and Medicinal Chemistry Sector of the RSC recently sponsored the 1st Continuous Processing and Flow Chemistry Conference in partnership with the SCI. The 2-day conference was hosted in early November at the excellent conference facilities at GlaxoSmithKline Stevenage, UK and was sponsored by a range of pharmaceutical and flow chemistry companies. Furthermore it attracted a strong line-up of speakers from Europe and the US including many leaders in the field from both academia and industry. The conference was a great success attracting around 200 delegates and many excellent poster presentations. Based on excellent feedback the organising committee are planning a second conference to be scheduled for 2012.

Medicinal Chemistry of Tropical Disease; the Hidden Battle, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, 11th November 2010

This one day symposium highlighted the challenges facing medicinal chemists tackling some of the diseases which ravage the populations of the poorer parts of the world. The line-up of speakers was truly international and described ‘cutting-edge research’ in this field. Professor Simon Croft (London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine) opened the symposium with a plenary lecture highlighting the background and current status of third world diseases which was followed by recent results on the first Tetraoxane anti-malarial drug RKA 182 by Professor Paul O'Neill (Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine). Dr Alan Stone (Medical Scientific Advisory Services) outlined recent advances in the use of microbicides as oral prophylaxis to prevent HIV transmission while Professor Ian Gilbert (University of Dundee) spoke about approaches to drug discovery for the neglected tropical disease tuberculosis. Professor Anastassis Perrakis (Netherlands Cancer Institute, Amsterdam) disclosed recent results on the J-base binding protein from Leishmania while Dr Jeremy Burrows (Medicines for Malaria Venture) talked about some recent medicinal chemistry on anti-malarial drug discovery. Professor Brent Korba (Georgetown University, USA) summarised the viral and cellular targets for anti-HCV therapies while in the final talk Dr Jose-Maria Bueno (GSK Tres Cantos, Spain) summarised approaches to 4(1H)-Pyridones as anti-malarial agents.

Posters were presented over lunch by sixteen postgraduate or postdoctoral researchers working in drug discovery towards the treatment of tropical disease. These were of a very high standard and covered the whole range of scientific disciplines including molecular biology, medicinal chemistry and computational chemistry. Prizes were awarded to the poster presenters judged to have the best posters – the winners are pictured below.

Sean Hudson from the Department of Chemistry, University of Cambridge, winner of poster prize for the best poster at the symposium, pictured with his supervisor, Professor Chris Abell
Ed Tsao from the MRC Centre for Medical Molecular Virology, Division of Infection and Immunity, University College London, winner of the runner-up prize for the best poster at the symposium, pictured with his supervisor, Professor Paul Kellam


Division of Medicinal Chemistry of the Swiss Chemical Society

March 20-23, 2011:
Joint German-Swiss Meeting on Medicinal Chemistry “Frontiers in Medicinal Chemistry”, Saarbrücken, Germany, for details see

September 09, 2011:
Division of Medicinal Chemistry, oral and poster session at the Fall Meeting of the Swiss Chemical Society, EPFL Lausanne.


The Swedish Academy of Pharmaceutical Sciences

The 5th Anglo-Swedish Medicinal Chemistry Symposium  
20-23 March 2011, Åre, Sweden

This symposium is the 5th meeting organized jointly between Medicinal Chemistry Section of the Swedish Academy of Pharmaceutical Sciences and the Biological and Medicinal Chemistry Sector of the Royal Society of Chemistry, UK. The aim of the meeting is to promote the very best of medicinal chemistry in a stimulating environment.


Introduction Course to Quantitative Pharmacology and PK/PD for Drug Discovery & Development Scientists
7-8 September 2011, Munich

The lack of training opportunities in quantitative pharmacology is hurting the industry. There are a lack people able to design, carry out, and analyze in vivo experiments, and then build models to extrapolate data across species and into man. All big Pharma companies are searching for people with PK/PD skills, but the demand is greater than the actual output from academia This course aims to give the course delegates confidence and encouragement to have a go at PKPD and to build relationships between bioscience, medicinal chemistry, DMPK and related scientific disciplines. The programme is comprised of lectures and afternoon group exercises.

The course is suitable for preclinical and/or clinical scientists working within the fields of bioscience, safety, medicinal chemistry, biostatistics, pharmacokinetic, pharmacology etc.


Gabriele Costantino
Univ. of Parma, IT

Editorial Committee

Erden Banoglu
Gazi Univ., TR

Leonardo Scapozza
Univ. of Geneve, CH

Wolfgang Sippl
Univ. Halle-Wittenberg, DE

Sarah Skerratt
Pfizer, Sandwich

Executive Committee

Gerhard F. Ecker President
Roberto Pellicciari Past Pres.
Koen Augustyns Secretary
Rasmus P. Clausen Treasurer
Javier Fernandez Member
Mark Bunnage Member
Peter Matuys Member

For more information please contact