Frontiers in CNS and Oncology Medicinal Chemistry. The Launch of a New Joint ACS-Medi Division and EFMC Meeting Series
ACS-Medi Division and EFMC have agreed to launch ‘Frontiers in Medicinal Chemistry’ as a new series of high quality scientific meeting to be held every two years in collaboration, each time, with the EFMC-associated national society of an European country.
A major aim of this initiative, which builds on the already strong ties between the two organizations, is to bring together leading US and European medicinal chemists from academia and industry in a meeting intended to build collaborative bridges between the participants.
The first of these meetings, organized in collaboration with the Division of Medicinal Chemistry of the Società Chimica Italiana was held in the beautiful and historic city of Siena, Italy, from October 7 to 9, 2007. Mainly focused on the medicinal chemistry of diseases of the central nervous system and cancer, the meeting has seen the participation of 200 medicinal chemists of 20 countries from both academia and industry (61 companies).
On the opening day, two plenary lectures given by Julian Adams (Infinity Pharmaceuticals, Cambridge, MA) and Carlo Melchiorre (University of Bologna) were followed by a very interesting session on the hit to lead process.
Further sessions focused on cancer and cns research. The lectures, given by leading scientists of USA, Italy and UK were complemented by two poster sessions, which showed excellent attendance. Among the 93 posters presented, four were selected for oral presentation and three of them were awarded with prizes offered by the Journal of Medicinal Chemistry, by the EFMC and by Siena Biotech.
The second meeting is planned for the second half of 2009 in Barcelona, Spain, and the first organizative details will appear shortly on the ACS-Medi Division and EFMC websites.
Roberto Pellicciari presents the EFMC Poster Prize to Riccardo Zanaletti, of Siena Biotech
Luisa Mosti, President of the DCF-SCI, Italy presents the Poster Award to Klaus Wanner, University o Munich
Dave Rotella, Chair of the ACS-Medi Division presents the JMC Poster Prize to Thomas Bridges, Vanderbilt University
Santa Maria della Scala in Siena, a prestigious Middle Age building for an outstanding medicinal chemistry meeting
Drugs for Ischemia: Treatment of Cerebral Ischemia - Recent Therapeutic strategies
This years’s EFMC-sponosred session at the Fall ACS Meeting was organised and chaired by Roberto Pellicciari and focused on neurodegenerative diseases.
The programme covered a broad mix ranging from cerebral ischemia via neuroprotection up to necroptosis. Although nearly two decades have been devoted to anti-ischemic research, only one drug is currently approved for use in acute ischemic stroke.
Wayne Childers (Wyeth Research) gave an excellent overview on recent approaches and mechanistic targets currently under investigation for treatment of stroke. His talk was followed by a presentation given by Tiziana Borsello (Istituto Mario Negri, Milano), who outlined her work on the JNK signalling pathway. She convincingly could demonstrate that inhibition of the c-jun N-terminal kinase (JNK) by the highly specific JNK inhibitor peptide (D-JNKI1) offeres a promising new therapeutic approach for human neuroprotection. David Becker (Florida International University, Miami, FL) presented the use of azulenyl nitrone spin traps, a completely different approach for neuroprotection. In animal models, the free radical scavenging stilbazulenyl nitrone STAZN conferred neuroprotecion at extremely low doses.
The design, structure-activity relationship studies and biological evaluation of novel Sonic Hedgehog (SHh) activators was presented by Simon Haydar (Wyeth Research). Sonic Hedgehog (SHh) activators have been shown to promote neuroprotection and regeneration in models of stroke. Last but not least Gregory Cuny from the Harvard Medical School outlined the concept of necroptosis inhibitors for therapy of cerebral ischemia. Necroptosis, a type of cell death different from apoptosis, is the prevalent form of acute cell death in many pathologies, including cerebral ischemia.
Despite a current working model of the necroptosis cell death pathway Dr. Cuny also presented several new lead series active as inhibitors of necroptosis.
The session was very well attended and once more the strong scientific ties between the ACS Medicinal Chemical Division of ACS and EFMC. The next EFMC sponsored session will be organised at the Spring 2009 National Meeting and Exhibition in Salt Lake City, UT.
Roberto Pellicciari, Univ. of Perugia
Gerhard F. Ecker, Univ. of Vienna
Univ. Vienna, AT
Univ. Antwerpen, BE
Gazi Univ., TR
Univ. Parma, IT
Univ. Copenhagen, DK
Roberto Pellicciari President
Ferran Sanz Past-President
Gerhard F.Ecker Secretary
Rasmus P.Clausen Treasurer
David Alker Member
Brigitte Lesur Member
Peter Matuys Member