MedChemWatch
Monthly Newsletter April 2020

PASSING THROUGH TIMES OF CRISIS - A MESSAGE FROM EFMC

We have all seen that the spread of COVID-19 has a major impact on societies, as well as on our ability to conduct scientific activities. In consequence, EFMC postponed the Short Course on GPCRs to October, and replaced all face-to-face activities with online meetings. We do not know how long this situation will last, but as it will eventually get better, we decided to keep the dates of the EFMC-ISMC and EFMC-YMCS meetings in September for now. We hope that both events will run normally, but will of course postpone them if the wave of the pandemic does not abate soon enough to guarantee the safety of the participants.

I am confident that we are a strong scientific community and will recover quickly. Even though there is no doubt that the current crisis will have consequences, cohesion and solidarity will help us mitigate its impact. As scientists, we are experts at solving problems of all kinds: we will rebound, learn and exploit the opportunities created by these exceptional circumstances.

Both in the short and long term, my bet is that medicinal chemistry and chemical biology will help expand our knowledge on SARS-covid2 and deliver decisive contributions to therapeutic and diagnostic tools. In particular, research on antivirals and antibiotics will get a boost, while building bridges between industrial and academic research. Complex clinical development processes will also benefit from the learnings of ongoing emergency trials, as the urgency of the fight against CODIV-19 will force research and development scientists to come together, and review their approach to risk. In this environment, the players showing the capacity to adapt and take advantage of opportunities, while keeping a high level of scientific quality, will shape tomorrow’s world.

As of today, the focus remains on going through the crisis. Ultimately, we will manage well, as some wonderful examples of resilience and dedication already show: teachers spending extended hours recording their courses so that students can keep learning; labs offering all their gloves and masks to nearby hospitals; researchers jumping into the fight, ignoring barriers and developing initiatives against the virus; simple gestures of support across the community... These acts of heroism leave me with no doubt: with patience, we will all come out stronger from this.

Please continue reinforcing the messages around hygiene and social distancing.

Best wishes to you and your families, and stay healthy.
Yves

LITERATURE SPOTLIGHT

The “literature spotlight” section of the newsletter will bring you a summary of the recently published research in a concise and readable way. Our chief editor and compiler will be Dr Clemens Zwergel (University of Rome, IT) from the EFMC Communication Team.

This second contribution will focus on the recently published article on innovative imaging agents in cancer diagnosis and treatment (by Li et al. in Angewandte Chemie)

Nowadays it is well accepted that the early detection of tumors is crucial for their effective treatment and prognosis. In women, breast cancer is the deadliest form of cancer worldwide. Numerous subtypes of breast cancers with distinct differences in therapeutic treatment, invasiveness, and prognosis are described in the literature. Thus, a secure and fast detection method to discriminate invasive from noninvasive breast cancers is crucial for an effective treatment and good prognosis. To date, activatable in vivo probes able have been rarely described in the literature. Li et al. very recently published an activatable polymeric reporter (P-Dex) able to turn on near-infrared (NIR) fluorescent and photoacoustic (PA) signals in response to the urokinase-type plasminogen activator (uPA) overexpressed by invasive breast cancer. In more detail, the polymeric reporter (P''.chr('8208').''Dex) possesses a renal''.chr('8208').''clearable dextran backbone linked with a NIR dye (CyN3OH) coupled with an uPA''.chr('8208').''cleavable substrate through a carbamate''.chr('8208').''based self''.chr('8208').''immolative linker. The dextran backbone is crucial not only for the hydrophilicity and renal clearance to avoid toxicity, but also to facilitate the enzymatic cleavage of the small molecule component. P-Dex is able to distinguish specifically between malignant breast cancer cells such as MDA-MB231) from other less malignant ones such as MCF-7 cells via a passive accumulation and subsequent activation of the fluorescence and PA signals. Interestingly the small molecule probe (SP) alone failed to do so.

The innovative molecular design approach of the authors led to the first polymeric reporter for discriminative detection between invasive breast tumor and noninvasive breast tumor being a great promise for the early detection of malignant forms of breast cancer. This is especially relevant because uPA levels in tumors are closely associated with poor overall survival and relapse''.chr('8208').''free survival, thus P''.chr('8208').''Dex might be useful also for monitoring and evaluating systemic therapy strategies of malignant tumors.

Li, Q., Li, S., He, S., Chen, W., Cheng, P., Zhang, Y., Miao, Q. and Pu, K. (2020), An Activatable Polymeric Reporter for Near''.chr('8208').''Infrared Fluorescent and Photoacoustic Imaging of Invasive Cancer. Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. doi: 10.1002/anie.202000035

https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/anie.202000035

EFMC-ISMC 2020: COVID-19 UPDATE & DEADLINE FOR OC SUBMISSIONS & GRANTS IS APRIL 2

For the time being, the EFMC has no plans to postpone or cancel the symposium. This is an unprecedented and constantly changing situation, in which the safety of everyone concerned is paramount. We will continually monitor and respond to developments. We will let you know as soon as changes to the plans for EFMC-ISMC 2020 become necessary.

We remind you that the deadline for oral communication submissions is April 2.

In addition to invited talks, various presentation opportunities are offered during the symposium:

  • 35 oral communication slots
  • 6 flash poster presentation sessions
  • 2 poster sessions with ample time for discussion

Due to the current situation, no handling fee will be applied for late poster submissions after April 2. Final submission deadline for posters is June 25, 2020.

EFMC Grants

EFMC is funding grants with the aim to support the participation of young academic scientists.

Upon application, 10 grants will be covered, corresponding to the full registration fees.

Apply for a grant. (Deadline is April 2)

STEPHAN A. SIEBER WINS THE KLAUS GROHE PRIZE 2020

Prof. Stephan A. Sieber, full Professor for Organic Chemistry at Technical University Munich and Associated Member of the Helmholtz Centre for Infectious Research in Saarbrücken has been awarded the 2020 Klaus Grohe Prize.

The award will be conferred during the opening ceremony of EFMC-ISMC 2020, September 6-10, 2020 in Basel, Switzerland.

After the award ceremony on September 6, the prize winner will be invited to give a lecture.

UNVEILING OF THE 1st EFMC PHOTO COLLAGE

EFMC more that anything is a community, and we want to celebrate all those who contributed to its success over the past 50 years!

Whether they contributed through events, awards, prizes, committees, Council membership, workshops or just by being part of the greater EFMC family of Medicinal Chemists and Chemical Biologists. We want to thank all those who helped establish and shape the EFMC, those who pilot it nowadays and those who will take over in the future.

Now more than ever, the world need scientists that can cooperate and share their knowledge around the globe!

The below collage can only capture a small part of our members and activities, but we hope you will like it! We also call for more pictures to continue celebrating our achievements and our members.

RESULTS OF THE 1st EFMC QUIZ

Congratulations to Davide Benedetto Tiz (Croatia) for winning the 1st EFMC Quiz with 23 correct answers out of 25!

Two runners-up follow closely with 22 correct answers: Katja Veber (Slovenia) & Pavla Perlikova (Czech Republic) 

For the others, a new quiz is already out! Test your knowledge and try your luck winning an EFMC Goodiebox.

Take the Quiz!

MEET SNAKEY, THE EFMC MASCOT

In this edition, we do not highlight a talented Medicinal Chemist or Chemical Biologist, but invite you to discover “Snakey”, the EFMC Mascot.

The snake is the emblem of the EFMC since 1974! The cute mascot was thought up by the Communication Team and was realised by the creative talents of master crochet champion Piia Kokkonen (University of Eastern Finland).

Can you crochet one yourself? Please send us your pictures of the results.

 Interested in crocheting one yourself!? Download the tutorial!

IMPORTANT NEWS FROM THE BIOLOGICAL AND MEDICINAL CHEMISTRY SECTOR (BMCS) OF THE ROYAL SOCIETY OF CHEMISTRY (RSC)

The BMCS Committee has taken the decision to cancel all meetings in which it is part of the organising team up to and including the ‘8th RSC / SCI symposium on GPCRs in Medicinal Chemistry’ in September.

We would hope to transpose meetings to the equivalent or similar dates in 2021 assuming that the situation stabilizes.

A list of those symposia affected is given below.

If you have committed to give an oral and/or a poster presentation at any of these symposia the relevant Conference Secretariat will be in touch with you. It is our policy that 100% refunds be given to delegates and that any expenses incurred by speakers be reimbursed if they cannot otherwise get refunds.

Sponsors and exhibitors will be refunded on case by case basis.

For more information please go to either of the following websites:
https://www.rscbmcs.org/
https://www.maggichurchouseevents.co.uk/bmcs/

2nd RSC BMCS / RSC NAG Nucleosides and Nucleotides
21st April 2020, RSC, London, UK

3rd RSC / SCI / DMDG Transporters in Drug Discovery and Development
21st to 22nd April 2020, SCI, London, UK

4th Agri-science Chemical Biology Postgraduate Symposium
22nd April 2020, White City Campus, Imperial College, London, UK

31st Medicinal Chemistry in Eastern England (Hatfield symposium)
30th April 2020, The Fielder Centre, Hatfield, UK

5th RSC / DMDG / DMG New Perspectives in DMPK
5th May 2020, Liverpool Medical Institution Conference Centre, Liverpool, UK

9th RSC / SCI Kinase Inhibitor Design
8th to 9th June 2020, The Francis Crick Institute, London, UK

BMCS Mastering MedChem VI
12th June 2020, Newcastle University, Newcastle-upon-Tyne, UK

8th RSC / SCI symposiums on GPCRs in Medicinal Chemistry
21st to 23rd September 2020, Evotec, Verona, Italy

NEWS FROM EUCHEMS

EuChemS announce the calls for the European Young Chemists Award & the ECC8 Grant

THIS NEWSLETTER IS KINDLY SPONSORED BY AMERICAN ELEMENTS


 

ISSUE SPONSORED BY

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EFMC ORGANISED EVENTS

September 6-10, 2020
Basel, Switzerland
EFMC-ISMC 2020: XXVI EFMC International Symposium on Medicinal Chemistry

September 10-11, 2020
Basel, Switzerland
EFMC-YMCS 2020: 7th EFMC Young Medicinal Chemist Symposium

October 18-21, 2020
Oegstgeest, The Netherlands
16th EFMC Short Course on Medicinal Chemistry: New Opportunities in GPCR Drug Discovery

EFMC SPONSORED EVENTS

May 7-9, 2020
Athens, Greece
18th Hellenic Symposium on Medicinal Chemistry (HSMC-18)

July 1-3, 2020
Bordeaux, France
Interfacing Chemical Biology and Drug Discovery†

September 20-24, 2020
Barcelona, Spain
23rd European Symposium on Quantitative Structure-Activity Relationship

EFMC SPONSORED SCHOOL

October 4-9, 2020
Leysin, Switzerland
14th Swiss Course on Medicinal Chemistry

JOB PORTAL

Assistant/Associate/Full Professors in Chemistry,†Leiden University, Leiden, The Netherlands

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