Monthly Newsletter October 2015

Report from the Frontiers in Medicinal Chemistry Symposium, Antwerp, Belgium - September 14-16, 2015

With more than 400 scientists coming from 44 different nations, the Frontiers in Medicinal Chemistry Symposium (FMC 2015), held at the University of Antwerp, has been a very successful meeting with a diverse and high quality programme, 35 expert speakers, 186 poster presentations, 17 exhibitors and 11 sponsors.

FMC 2015 was jointly organised by EFMC, ACS and the local Dutch and Belgian National Organizations: the Medicinal and Bioorganic Chemistry Division of the Royal Flemish Chemical Society (KVCV), the Société Royale de Chimie (SRC), and the Medicinal Chemistry Section of the Royal Netherlands Chemical Society (KNCV).

The scientific programme covered a wide range of latest advances in Medicinal Chemistry including Molecular Chaperones and their Therapeutic Potential, Unexplored Chemical Space: Experiences from the European Lead Factory and the NIH, Emerging Advances in GPCR Research, Novel Strategies for Anti-Thrombotic Therapy, Academic Drug Discovery, Non-Small Molecules, Kinetics and Thermodynamics of Ligand Binding, Rational Design of Non-Oral Drugs and Emerging Topics.

During the symposium the results of the EFMC “Why Medicinal Chemistry” videoclip competition were also announced. The videos of the three finalists were shown live to the audience and the first prize awarded to Mr Pedro Gonçalves and Mr Luis Carvalho from the University of Lisbon, Portugal who succeeded in the challenging goal of explaining the importance of Medicinal Chemistry to the general public in just 1 minute.

In its effort to constantly foster the visibility and recognition of Medicinal Chemistry and following a first positive experience at the EFMC-ISMC 2014 in Lisbon, the EFMC also took the opportunity of the Frontiers in Medicinal Chemistry Symposium to host a second press conference where local newspapers, scientific press and TV were invited and where 5 keynote speakers gave their view on the importance of the discipline.

A panel discussion also took place on the topic ‘Is there a place for Medicinal Chemistry at universities?’ The full report of the discussion was published in the September issue of the MedChemWatch.

The scientific programme was completed with an attractive social programme. A welcome reception was held at the Elzenveld, a fifteenth-century  hospice. Participants were also invited to discover Antwerp: city of art, history and fashion; maritime metropolis and diamond centre of the world. The conference was concluded in style by a gala dinner in the Art Nouveau Room of the Grand Café Horta.

The next edition of Frontiers in Medicinal Chemistry will take place in 2017 in the United States.

Report from the 2nd EFMC Young Medicinal Chemist Symposium, Antwerp, Belgium - September 17, 2015

Following the Frontiers in Medicinal Chemistry Symposium (FMC 2015), the second Young Medicinal Chemists Symposium took place, building on the success of the 1st edition held in Lisbon in 2014.

More than 100 participants stayed in Antwerp and enjoyed the inspiring opening lecture given by Prof. Chas Bountra (University of Oxford, United Kingdom): “We Urgently Need More Medicinal Chemists to Generate Novel Tools to Dissect Disease Biology, and New Drugs for Patients

The rest of the programme was split between 11 oral communications by invited prize winners from National Young Medicinal Chemists meetings in Europe, 3 oral communications from submitted abstracts, 20 flash poster presentations and more than 50 poster communications.

An award ceremony was also held where three prizes were conferred to promising young scientists. Mr Xavier Gómez-Santacana (Institute for Advanced Chemistry of Catalonia – CSIC, Spain) received the EFMC-YMCS Presentation Prize sponsored by EFMC & Actelion, Ms Natalie Theodoulou (GlaxoSmithKline, United Kingdom) received the EFMC-YMCS Poster Prize sponsored by MedChemCom and finally Mr Ben Whitehurst (GlaxoSmithKline, United Kingdom) was awarded the EFMC-YMCS Public's Choice Prize sponsored by Roche.

The day ended with a networking event where the participants enjoyed a drink and further discussed the lectures.

The next edition of the Young Medicinal Chemist Symposium will take place in 2016 in Manchester, in connection with the XXIV EFMC International Symposium on Medicinal Chemistry

The 23rd National Meeting on Medicinal Chemistry has been held on September 6-9, 2015 in Salerno

The 23rd edition of the National Meeting on Medicinal Chemistry (XXIII NMMC,; Twitter @NMMC2015) was organized by the Division of Medicinal Chemistry of the Italian Chemical Society (DCF-SCI) and was held in the Campus of the University of Salerno (located in Fisciano - Salerno, Italy;, from September 6th to 9th, 2015, under the patronages of the Italian Chemical Society, the European Federation for Medicinal Chemistry (EFMC) and other Italian institutions, and sponsored by several pharma and related companies.

The XXIII NMMC aimed at providing a panel of scientists to interact and discuss the latest ideas, scientific breakthroughs and techniques. The meeting offered an exciting chance to debate future changes and to provide topical coverage of key disciplines, and to explore for cooperation and collaborations. Moreover, this edition of the meeting was joint with the 9th Young Medicinal Chemists Symposium “Nuove Prospettive in Chimica Farmaceutica” (NPCF9), directed to graduate, post-graduate, PhD students and young researchers operating in University or Industry.

347 participants from many countries attended the XXIII NMMC, 296 (85 %) from Italy, 37 (11%) from seven EU countries, and 14 (4%) from seven non-EU countries. The Meeting got 129 (37%) trainees registrations (21 supported by the Italian Division of Medicinal Chemistry as a part of the young scientists support program), and 33 (9.5%) attendants were from industry. The XXIII NMMC covered a number of topics of leading research areas, including Oncology, Chemical Biology, Protein-Protein Interactions, Epigenetics, Analytical Tools and Methods in Drug Discovery and Development, Computer Aided Methods in Medicinal Chemistry, Viral Diseases and Drug Resistance, Advanced Synthetic Methods in Medicinal Chemistry, New Technologies in Drug Discovery, Nutraceuticals and Nutragenomics, Metabolic Diseases, Knowledge and Technology Transfer.

The scientific programme included three days of scientific presentations, plenary lectures of eminent international scientists (Thomas L. Blundell – University of Cambridge, UK; Alessio Fasano – Harvard Medical School, USA; Rolf W. Hartmann – Helmholtz-Institute for Pharmaceutical Research Saarland, Germany), ten parallel oral sessions (held in the Auditorium and in the Theatre of the University of Salerno) with 17 keynotes and 48 short communications of distinguished scientists from Italy and abroad, 201 posters, which were exhibited during the entire duration of the meeting, and an exhibition by companies sponsoring the event.

During the opening ceremony, started with the greetings of the Rector of the University of Salerno, Aurelio Tommasetti, the Giacomello Medal (Manlio Palumbo, University of Padua) and the Career Achievement Awards (Paolo Colombo – University of Parma and Giovanni Gaviraghi – University of Parma) were awarded. Two DCF-SCI prizes for Young Medicinal Chemists in Academia and Industry were assigned to outstanding young Italian medicinal chemists.

This meeting has been a good forum for scientific networking, to exchange experiences and establish promising future collaborations in the areas of Medicinal Chemistry, Chemical Biology, Pharmaceutical Chemistry and Technology and Nutraceutics.

The Fourth Meeting of the Division has been held May 12, 2015

Croatian Chemical Society was established in the 1926 and it was developed through the decades into the Society which actively supports all chemical activities in Croatia. The Society has 8 divisions at the moment. The youngest of all, Division of Medicinal chemistry was established in 2012 and immediately became an adhering member of EFMC.

The mission of Medicinal Chemistry Division is promotion and development of scientific, professional and educational activities within medicinal chemistry groups in Croatia. Medicinal chemistry research is ongoing at several Croatian institutions including University of Zagreb (Faculty of Natural Science, Faculty of Pharmacy and Chemical Engineering and Technology), National institute of science (Ruer Boškovi Institute) and industry drug discovery (CRO Fidelta). In order to effectively exchange knowledge, ideas and scientific results, Croatian medicinal chemists meet twice a year on a half a day basis meeting. The last, fourth meeting held on May 12th, 2015 brought together molecular modeling groups from different organizations to give lectures with popular topics in the medicinal chemistry area. The following lectures were given:

  1. Molecular modeling in drug discovery – from small molecules to macrocycles; from biological activity to successful drugs;  Sanja Koštrun, Ph.D., Fidelta Ltd., Zagreb
  2. How to determine active conformation of flexible metalloenzymes; Prof. Sanja Tomi, Ph.D.,  Ruer Boškovi Institute, Zagreb
  3. Prediction of redox biological activities for natural and synthetic compounds, Višnja Stepani, Pd.D., Ruer Boškovi Institute, Zagreb
  4. Design of novel biological active compounds – from QSAR modeling to experiments, Prof Branimir Bertoša, Ph.D., Faculty of Natural Sciences, University of Zagreb

At the end of the meeting, Vesna Gabelica Markovic, the Head of Medicinal Chemistry Division, informed the participants about activities and actions within EFMC, upcoming conferences and meetings, and finally some activities within Croatian Chemical Society.

Around 35 scientists participated at the meeting and after each lecture there was plenty of discussion, challenging questions and comments. In addition, some ideas for potential collaboration followed up. The atmosphere was very stimulating and the members appreciated meeting and looking forward to next, autumn Medicinal Chemistry Division meeting.

Donít miss a chance to present your work at the 3rd Symposium of New Perspectives in DMPK, on 8th-9th February 2016 at the RSC in London, UK

This meeting will provide a forum for the exchange of ideas between principal members of the DMPK research community.

The agenda will include keynote talks from industry leaders, who will frame specific topic discussions with more global views of how DMPK can bring value to the process of informing drug discovery.

Abstract submission closes on 18th December


Go with the flow? Join us the the Third RSC /SCI Symposium on continuous flow technology on 14th to 16th March 2016, Cambridge, UK

This three-day Conference on Continuous Flow Technology is organised by both SCI and RSC, combining previously successful 1 and 2 day symposia.

This reflects the advances made with continuous flow technology over recent years and the impact it is making right across the chemicals industry spanning discovery applications, process development advances and value for commercial manufacture of fine and speciality chemicals.

To reflect the mix of interests and applications across the chemistry community, the symposium is structured as two back to back events with options for attending two consecutive days or all three Closing date for oral abstracts is 30th September;

Closing date for poster abstracts is 30th November.


Prizes FIGON Dutch Medicines Days

The division Medicinal Chemistry of the Royal Netherlands Chemical Society has awarded two young medicinal chemists during the FIGON Dutch Medicines Days.

The presentation prize of € 500 went to Freek Janssen of Leiden University (supervisor Dr. Mario van der Stelt) with his talk ‘Discovery and Optimization of Highly Selective and Reversible Diacylglycerol Lipase Inhibitors’. He will be the Dutch delegate to present on the EFMC-YMCS in Manchester 2016.

The poster prize of € 250 was awarded to Tian Shu Fan of the Free University Amsterdam (supervisor Prof. Dr. Martine Smit) for her poster ‘HCMV-encoded viral GPCR Signaling in Glioblastoma: The oncomodulatory potential of US28.’



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