Monthly Newsletter September 2016

Medicinal Chemistry of Tropical Diseases: XII SEQT Mini Symposium. IIIrd Spanish/Portuguese/Brazilian Meeting, November 17-18, 2016 - Tres Cantos (Madrid), Spain

The Spanish Society of Medicinal Chemistry (SEQT) is organizing the XIIth SEQT Mini Symposium. IIIrd Spanish/Portuguese/Brazilian Meeting, scheduled to be held on November 17-18th 2016 at GSK R&D facilities in Tres Cantos (Madrid, Spain). The topic of this joint meeting will be “Medicinal Chemistry of Tropical Diseases”.

Confirmed speakers

  • Dr David Barros, Head of Tuberculosis DPU, DDW, GSK - Development of New drugs for the Treatment of MDR-TB"
  • Prof. María M. Mota, Instituto de Medicina Molecular. University of Lisbon, Portugal
  • Dr. Charles Mowbray, Head of Drug Discovery, DNDi - "DNDi - catalysing R&D for neglected patients"
  • Prof. Aurea Echevarria, Department of Chemistry, Federal Rural University of Rio de Janeiro (UFRRJ), Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

For more information please contact: or visit XIIth SEQT Symposium_Information (21/09/2016 - 166 KB)

MedChem 2016 - Annual One-Day Meeting on Medicinal Chemistry of SRC & KVCV: PET & Imaging: From Chemistry Lab to Clinical Applications, November 18, 2016 - Mont-Saint-Guibert, Belgium

The Medicinal Chemistry Divisions of the two Belgian Chemical Societies, the Société Royale de Chimie (SRC) and the Koninklijke Vlaamse Chemische Vereniging (KVCV), are pleased to announce their Annual Joint One-Day Symposium on Medicinal Chemistry: MEDCHEM 2016 - PET & Imaging: From Chemistry Lab to Clinical Applications.

Synopsis: The objective of the one-day symposium is to delve into the latest developments around Positron Emission Tomography (PET) and Imaging as invaluable non-invasive translational evaluation and diagnostic tools in drug discovery. Medicinal Chemistry now plays a critical role in the design, the synthesis and the characterization of suitable ligands with very specific properties. A sightseeing tour around state-of-the-art synthetic methodologies, tracers design and optimization principles, recent applications and perspectives in various therapeutic areas as well as selected case-studies will be presented.

Please note that the closing date for early-bird registration and submission of poster abstracts is 12th October 2016.


Recent Disclosures of Clinical Candidates and SMR Award Lecture, December 1, 2016 - London, United Kingdom

This symposium will feature and international line up of speakers presenting on the discovery and development of novel therapeutic agents that have recently progressed towards or into clinical trials.

The symposium will start with the 2016 Society of Medicines Research Award Lecture (the details of which will be announced in September) followed by the presentation of the award. The programme will also include a variety of mechanistic approaches for the novel therapeutics including small molecules, monoclonal antibodies and a drug repurposing presentation and will cover therapeutics areas including oncology, anti-infectives, inflammation and anaemia.

£85 member rate
£135 non member rate

To become a member and register for the event, pay the special fee of £110

Find out more on

Nominations for the 2017 MedChemComm Emerging Investigator Lectureship

The 2017 MedChemComm Emerging Investigator Lectureship is now open for nominations

Nominations will close 14 November 2016.

The recipient of the lectureship will receive a contribution of up to £1000 towards speaking at a conference in 2017.

How you can nominate
If you would like to nominate someone please email ( with the following details:

  • Their name
  • Their affiliation
  • At least one paragraph explaining their achievements and why you think they should be considered

Additional supporting information, for example their CV, is very helpful in making a decision but is not mandatory for making a nomination.

Self-nominations are accepted but must be supported by a letter of support from your Head of Departments or similar person at your institute.

All qualified nominations will be considered and a short-list of candidates with be selected based on the information provided at nomination. The MedChemComm Editorial Board will then vote to select the recipient and the winner will be announced in late 2016.

Previous lectureship winners include:

  • Dr Alessio Ciulli (University of Dundee, UK)
  • Professor Richard Payne (University of Sydney, Australia)
  • Professor Patrick Gunning (University of Toronto, Canada)
  • Professor Christian Heinis (École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne, Switzerland).

'Can Science Save the Day ?' - A Public Engagement Event at EFMC-ISMC

At the occasion of the XXIV EFMC International Symposium on Medicinal Chemistry (EFMC-ISMC), a Public Engagement Event has been organised in order to raise the awareness of the General Public on the research in the pharmaceutical industry.


The event took place at the Manchester Museum of Science and Industry and took the format of an expert panel (Allan Jordan, Eric Kerran, Derek Lowe, Vicky Steadman) “pitching" for funding for key healthcare problems e.g cancer, infectious diseases dementia. Each outlined why their area was in need of new advances and medicines.

This was a catalyst for the audience to discuss these topics and to ask the panel questions. With many members of the general public in the audience it was great to see the level of engagement and interest.  There were some great insights provided by patients and carers.

This was all expertly (and entertainingly) chaired by Renee Watson.  A great, thought-provoking evening was had by all.

The EFMC wanted to thank the EFMC-ISMC 2016 Local Organising Committee for having organised this ground-breaking public event.

Photographer - Fabien Venturi

EFMC Press Conference at EFMC-ISMC 2016

In its effort to constantly foster the visibility and recognition of Medicinal Chemistry and following two positive experience at the EFMC-ISMC 2014 in Lisbon and the Frontiers Meeting 2015 in Antwerp, the EFMC took once again the opportunity of its flagship meeting, the XXIV EFMC International Symposium on Medicinal Chemistry (EFMC-ISMC) to host a third press conference where local newspaper, scientific press and one reporter of the Radio Podcast Show "The Naked Scientists" were present.

4 keynote speakers gave their view on the importance of the discipline and the key theme for this year "MedChem impact/importance, collaborative nature of medicinal chemistry/drug discovery".

Keynote Speakers:

  • Michael Sofia (Arbutus Biopharma, United States)
  • Joe Kozlowski (Merck, Sharp & Dohme, United States)
  • Nicolas Soldermann (Novartis, Switzerland)
  • John Liddle (GlaxoSmithKline, United Kingdom)

Fabrizio Giordanetto (D.E. Shaw Research LLC, United States), leader of the EFMC Working Group on "Visibility and Recognition of Medicinal Chemistry" chaired the Press Conference.

Koen Augustyns, EFMC President, was invited to give the introdruction speech and stressed the importance of international cooperation - mentioning the recently organised STOA Working Breakfast and the Signature of a Memorandum of Understanding between the EFMC and the CPA.

Photographer - Fabien Venturi

EFMC is becoming a supporting member of EuCheMS

At the occasion of the EFMC Council Meeting, which took place on Saturday August 27, 2016 in Manchester, the decision was taken by the Council members for the EFMC to apply as supporting member of EuCheMS, with the intent to extend the collaboration between the two organisations. David Cole-Hamilton, EuCheMS’s president, attended the meeting to present the organisation and to answer the questions of the Council Members.

The application was submitted to EuCheMS’s General Assembly in September 2016 and Professor Pilar Goya presented the EFMC on that occasion. Following the presentation, the General Assembly of EuCheMS voted unanimously to accept EFMC as a Supporting Member.

EFMC and EuCheMS share many common interests and the EFMC is looking forward collaborating with EuCheMS in a way that will be beneficial for both associations, and for Medicinal Chemistry.

Signature of a Memorandum of Understanding between EFMC & CPA

At the occasion of the XXIV EFMC International Symposium on Medicinal Chemistry (EFMC-ISMC), held in Manchester on August 28 - September 1, 2016, the European Federation for Medicinal Chemistry (EFMC) and the Chinese Pharmaceutical Association (CPA) signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the intent to establish a collaborative and sustainable relationship.


"The mission of the European Federation for Medicinal Chemistry (EFMC) is to advance and promote the science of medicinal chemistry by promoting collaboration and networking, providing training and mentoring, rewarding scientific excellence, facilitating communication and influencing stakeholders. The EFMC-International Symposium on Medicinal Chemistry (EFMC-ISMC) held in Manchester is the EFMC’s flagship meeting that contributed perfectly to this mission. Of course, such a mission can not be fulfilled alone. Therefore, EFMC is collaborating with its national adhering organisations and other learned societies such as the Medicinal Chemistry Division of the American Chemical Society (ACSMEDI), EuCheMS and the Asian Federation for Medicinal Chemistry (AFMC). In that respect, EFMC is extremely pleased to sign today a Memorandum of Understanding with the Chinese Pharmaceutical Association (CPA). CPA is a very large and important society with a long history and a very strong division of medicinal chemistry. Medicinal Chemistry is clearly gaining momentum in China. This is exemplified in a recent paper published in the Journal of Medicinal Chemistry describing that the papers with a corresponding author in China have multiplied by 5 in the last ten years. The new collaboration between CPA and EFMC is therefore timely and we are looking forward to joint activities to promote and advance the science of medicinal chemistry."

The Memorandum of Understanding was signed during an official ceremony with EFMC and CPA officials and was followed by a gift exchange ceremony between Koen Augustyns, President of EFMC and Kaixian Chen, Vice-President of the CPA.

Photographer - Fabien Venturi

EFMC Awards at EFMC-ISMC 2016

The 2016 EFMC Awards have been conferred on occasion of the XXIV EFMC International Symposium on Medicinal Chemistry (EFMC-ISMC), held in Manchester on August 28 - September 1, 2016.


Nauta Award for Pharmacochemistry
Prof. François Diederich – ETH Zürich, Switzerland

For his outstanding contributions to the science of medicinal chemistry. Prof. François Diederich made essential contributions to the fundamental understanding of non-bonding interactions involved in molecular recognition and their application in modern drug design. His scientific work is documented in more than 700 publications and beautifully describes interactions such as sulfur-aromatics, cation-Pi, fluorine interactions and halogen bonding that are actively used by many scientists around the world in the discovery of novel drugs.

UCB-Ehrlich Award for Excellence in Medicinal Chemistry
Prof. Paul J. Hergenrother – University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, United States

For his groundbreaking work on procaspase-3 activation by a small molecule PAC-1, thereby inducing apoptosis in cancer cells. In his scientific research he uses natural products as starting points for complex molecule synthesis in an approach named “complexity-to-diversity”.  Next to basic research, he also aims to bring his novel compounds to the clinic for the benefit of patients.

Prous Institute-Overton and Meyer Award for New Technologies in Drug Discovery
Prof. Jan Steyaert – VIB & VU Brussels, Belgium

For his pioneering work in the field of nanobody-enabled structural biology. His nanobody technology led to X-ray crystallographic structures of GPCRs locked in an agonist-bound active conformational state and to the first view of a GPCR transmembrane signalling complex. These novel GPCR structures are now finding widespread use in the discovery of novel drugs.

Photographer - Fabien Venturi

EFMC Prizes at EFMC-ISMC 2016

The « EFMC Prize for a Young Medicinal Chemist in Academia » and the « EFMC Prize for a Young medicinal chemist in Industry » have been established by the European Federation for Medicinal Chemistry (EFMC) to acknowledge and recognize an outstanding young medicinal chemist working in academia or in industry within Europe.


The prizes are given annually and consist of a diploma, 1.000€ and an invitation for a short presentation at an EFMC Symposium. Two nominees are also identified and acknowledged.

The 2016 Prizes have been conferred on occasion of the XXIV EFMC International Symposium on Medicinal Chemistry (EFMC-ISMC), held in Manchester on August 28 - September 1, 2016.

Winner of the Industry Prize was Jean QUANCARD (Novartis Pharma, Switzerland), gave a talk on the “INHIBITION OF THE COP9 SIGNALOSOME AS A NOVEL APPROACH TO TREAT CANCER”. The most meritorious runners-up were Nicolas Desroy (Galapagos, France) and Anne Valade (UCB, Belgium).

Frank BOECKLER (Eberhard Karls University Tuebingen, Germany) won the 2016 EFMC Prize for a Young Medicinal Chemist in Academia. At the EFMC-ISMC Symposium, he gave a talk entitled “SIGMA HOLE BONDING IN KINASE DRUG DISCOVERY“. Nathaniel Martin (Utrecht University, The Netherlands) and Sylvia Ortega Gutierrez (Universidad Complutense de Madrid, Spain) have been identified and acknowledged as runners-up.

Photographer - Fabien Venturi

EFMC Roche Studentships

One of the goals of the EFMC is to enhance interactions at the industry/academia interface and to promote improved cooperation between the pharmaceutical industry and academia. EFMC and F. Hoffman-La Roche therefore proposed an opportunity to broaden the awareness to European University based chemistry students of the EFMC activities by rewarding excellence accomplished during a medicinal chemistry internship in industry.

The third EFMC-Roche studentships have been announced by Koen Augustyns (EFMC) and Fionn O'Hara (F. HOFFMANN-LA ROCHE) at the XXIV EFMC International Symposium on Medicinal Chemistry (EFMC-ISMC), held in Manchester on August 28 - September 1, 2016.

The recipients were Ana Isabel OLIVEIRA ALMEIDA (University of Aveiro, Portugal) and Niamh JIMENEZ (University of St Andrews, UK). We would like to congratulate Ana Isabela and Niamh for their fantastic achievement.

EFMC would like to thank F. Hoffman-La Roche for their contribution and support.

To find more about the EFMC Prizes and studentships, we invite you to visit the EFMC website

Photographer - Fabien Venturi

EFMC Best Poster Prize at EFMC-ISMC 2016

10 EFMC Best Poster Prizes have been granted during the XXIV International Symposium on Medicinal Chemistry (EFMC-ISMC 2016).

The EFMC Best Poster Prizes have been granted during the XXIV International Symposium on Medicinal Chemistry (EFMC-ISMC 2016) to the following participants :

  • P036 - Dmitrii Kalinin (University of Münster, Germany)
  • P096 - Yasuhiro Imaeda (Takeda Pharmaceutical Company, Japan)
  • P132 - Nis Halland (Sanofi, Germany)
  • P192 - Geoffrey Schwertz (ETH Zurich, Switzerland)
  • P253 - Xavier Lucas (University of Dundee, United Kingdom)
  • P334 - Jonas Kaindl (Friedrich-Alexander-University Erlangen-Nuernberg, Germany)
  • P444 - Arno Vermote (Ghent University, Belgium)
  • P466 - Liam Hudson (Institute of Cancer Research, United Kingdom)
  • P592 - Christian Kersten (Johannes Gutenberg University, Germany)
  • P522 - Daniela Dengler (Friedrich-Alexander University Erlangen-Nuremberg, Germany)

Each Poster Prize consists of a Diploma and a 200€ cash prize

Photographer - Fabien Venturi

EFMC-YMCS Prizes 2016

The 2016 EFMC-YMCS Prizes has been conferred on occasion of the 3rd Young Medicinal Chemist Symposium (EFMC-YMCS), held in Manchester on September 1-2, 2016.


Mr Freek JANSSEN (Leiden University, The Netherlands) received the EFMC-YMCS Presentation Prize for his presentation on the "Development of Highly Selective and Reversible Diacylglycerol Lipase Inhibitors ". The prize was awarded by Koen Augustyns - EFMC President on behalf of the prize sponsors EFMC & Actelion.

The Presentation Prize covers:

  • An oral communication and free registration for the next EFMC-ASMC'17 in Vienna in Summer 2017 (sponsored by the EFMC)
  • A travel grant of up to 1000€ to visit EFMC-ASMC'17 (sponsored by Actelion)

Ms Anna COOPER (University of Otago, New Zealand) received the EFMC-YMCS Poster Prize for her presentation on "Design, Synthesis and Pharmacological Evaluation of Fluorescent Tools for Studying Cannabinoid Type 2 Receptor". The prize was awarded by Dave Alker on behalf of the prize sponsors MedChemCom and Sir Simon Campbell. The Prize consists of a diploma, a £500 cash prize offered by Sir Simon Campbell and an e-subscription to MedChemComm.

Mr Piotr DRACZKOWSKI (University of Lublin, Poland) was awarded the EFMC-YMCS Public's Choice Prize for her presentation on "Experimental Platform for Characterization and High-Throughput Screening of Acetylcholinesterase Inhibitors". The prize, based on the votes of YMCS participants, was awarded by Fionn O'Hara (Roche) on behalf of the prize sponsor Roche. The Prize consists of a diploma and an iPad.

News from the French Medicnal Chemistry Society (SCT)

The 24th Young Research Fellow Meeting, (24èmes Journées Jeunes Chercheurs) an initiative of the French Medicinal Chemistry Society (SCT), will gather 250 young participants from Europe and will take place in Paris at the Faculty of Pharmacy Paris-Sud during three days (February, 8-10).

This meeting brings together young European scientists (PhD students, post-doctoral fellows and young academic/industrial confirmed researchers) and gives them the opportunity to present and discuss the latest innovations and future trends in Medicinal Chemistry.

The topics presented cover all aspects of research in medicinal chemistry: structure-activity relationship studies, ADMET, imaging, drug vectorization, nanotechnologies, natural products, synthetic methodology, etc

We are delighted and honored to have world-class medicinal chemists as speakers:

  • Maria Laura Bolognesi (Italy)
  • Karl Gademann (Switzerland)
  • Jean-Pierre Vors (France)
  • Matthew Fuchter (UK)
  • María Luz López Rodríguez (Spain)
  • Daniel Rauh (Germany)

Many prestigious prizes will be attributed (SCT, ACS, EFMC) for best oral communications, and posters.

25 oral communications and 30 Flash Poster Presentations will be selected from abstracts and the others will be presented in Poster sessions. Individual career sessions will also be organised.

Registration: 40€




News from the Division of Medicinal Chemistry and Chemical Biology (DMCCB) of the Swiss Chemical Society (SCS)

The Swiss Chemical Society and the Contact group for research matters (KGF) are proud and happy to announce the winners of the KGF-SCS Industrial Investigator Awards 2016 and to honor their outstanding achievements. The award lectures have taken place on the occasion of the SCS Fall Meeting in Zurich on September 15, 2016.

KGF-SCS  Industrial Science Award 2016
The award is given to  

 Martin H. Bolli

Dr Martin H. Bolli, Actelion Pharmaceuticals Ltd

for his excellent contributions in medicinal chemistry culminating in the discovery and development of Macitentan, a drug for the treatment of pulmonary arterial hypertension.

KGF-SCS  Industrial Science Award 2016

The award is given to  

 Andreas Herrmann

Dr Andreas Herrmann, Firmenich SA

for his essential contributions to make profragrance chemistry an interdisciplinary research area and to establish it as a key technology for fragrance delivery.

KGF-SCS Senior Industrial Science Award 2016

The award is given to

 Eric Francotte

Dr Eric Francotte, NovartisPharma AG

for his outstanding contributions to chromatographic resolution of racemic compounds on optically active polymers as chiral stationary phases and his pioneering work in implementing new preparative chromatographic techniques

KGF-SCS Senior Industrial Science Award 2016

The award is given to  

 Peter Nesvadba

Prof. Peter Nesvadba, BASF Schweiz AG

for his groundbreaking contributions to the discovery and development of novel stabilizers for monomers and polymers, novel dyes, first industrial realization of controlled radical polymerization, to the development of safe alternatives to organic peroxides and for his engagement as bridge builder between academia and industry.




News from the Biological and Medicinal Chemistry Sector (BMCS) of the Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC)

The BMCS is pleased to announce

  • The 2nd Anglo-Croatian Medicinal Symposium on Macrocycles: Medicinal Chemistry and Beyond-the-Rule-of-Five: Monday-Tuesday, 17th to 18th October 2016 at Fidelta, Zagreb, Croatia
  • Plugging the Antibiotics Gap: a medicinal chemist's perspective: 16th November 2016 at Manchester Science Park, Alderley Park, Manchester, UK

2nd Anglo-Croatian Medicinal Symposium on Macrocycles: Medicinal Chemistry and Beyond-the-Rule-of-Five: Monday-Tuesday, 17th to 18th October 2016 at Fidelta, Zagreb, Croatia

Synopsis: The objective of this symposium is to promote scientific interaction between scientists with a shared interest in the field of Macrocycles. This area is responsible for a growing number of therapeutic approaches and development candidates, all of which go ‘beyond the rule-of –five’. As a researcher in this field, come along to hear about the latest advances and also share in some of the secrets of discovering therapeutic agents which go beyond Lipinski’s rules

More info on:

Plugging the Antibiotics Gap: a medicinal chemist's perspective: 16th November 2016 at Manchester Science Park, Alderley Park, Manchester, UK

Synopsis:  Sustained under-investment in antimicrobials has led to a severe shortage of new drugs for treating infection. At a time when emerging antimicrobial resistance is decreasing the efficacy of existing treatments, it is more important than ever that we refresh the drug pipeline with new antimicrobials that act on new targets with novel modes of action.

Closing date for poster abstracts is 30th September




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September 6-7, 2018
Ljubljana, Slovenia
5th EFMC Young Medicinal Chemist Symposium (EFMC-YMCS 2018)


June 22, 2018
Madrid, Spain
V SEQT Young Researchers Symposium

June 27, 2018
Dublin, Ireland
2nd Medicinal Chemistry Ireland Conference

November 12-13, 2018
London, United Kingdom
2nd SCI/RSC Symposium on Antimicrobial Drug Discovery



September 19-21, 2018
Rimini, Italy
Summer School in Pharmaceutical Analysis (SSPA)

October 7-12, 2018
Leysin, Switzerland
13th Swiss Course on Medicinal Chemistry


Medicinal / Synthetic Organic Chemists, Concept Life Sciences: Drug Discovery, Sandwich, Kent, United Kingdom

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MsC student or PhD internship, KU Leuven: Cellular and Molecular Medicine, Leuven, Belgium

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