MedChemWatch
Monthly Newsletter February 2019

THE EFMC YEARBOOK 2019 IS NOW AVAILABLE ONLINE!

We are pleased to make available the electronic version of the official EFMC Yearbook 2019, "Medicinal Chemistry in Europe", which is a valuable resource for those interested in quickly finding information on all things EFMC, such as the activities and composition of Member Societies, Corporate Members and the activities and events of EFMC and its working groups.

View online

Download the PDF

I AM A MEDICINAL CHEMIST: MEET MICHELE MARI (UNIVERSITY OF URBINO “CARLO BO”, ITALY)

Michele Mari from the University of Urbino “Carlo Bo” Italy is also the president of small spin-off company from the same university (GLUOS). Would you also like to have your own company?

Where and when did you obtain your PhD diploma?
I obtained my Ph.D. at University of Urbino “Carlo Bo” Italy, spending 9 months also at ETH Zurich as visiting Ph.D. Student

What was the topic of your PhD project?
“Strategic indole functionalization for the synthesis of tryptophan containing alkaloids and biologically active tryptamines”, I’ve been into pretty much chemistry from total synthesis of natural products to new anticancer compounds.

Where did you have your postdoc position?
I have a postdoc position in the same University; I love to work in a quiet place like Urbino, surrounded by the beauty of an UNESCO site.

Where do you work at the moment and what is your current position?
At the moment I share my worktime between my postdoc position at University of Urbino and my start up company GLUOS (university spin off).

What are your current research interests?
We are working on a lot of things at the moment, I’m trying to push forward the pioneering work that our group did on melatonin receptors ligands, we are synthesizing some interesting natural products with antibiotic activity, another thing that we are always looking for is the development of novel antioxidant agents, finally I am also working on the analysis and biological activity of different natural extracts.

What is the most embarrassing thing you did in the lab while doing experiments, e.g. explosions?
It happened that when we were quenching some old reagents a one meter high green flame came out from the flask, but we were working safely so it was not a problem to manage it and dispose everything in the right manner to the waste.

Which scientist do you admire the most and why?
I cant talk for hours about this because I really consider myself a science nerd, and I love to follow also other people’s work, for sure a scientist that I really like is Prof. Paul Wender, with his reaserch that goes from chemistry to biology and medicine, I’m really passionate in particular in Organic Synthesis because I’m more a synthetic medicinal chemist, so I really like also the work of Prof. Phil Baran and Prof. Erick Carreira. I have to say that there are scientists I’ve been working with that really inspired me and I have them as models such as Prof. Jeffrey Bode and Prof. Giovanni Piersanti. Than I have to say Giulio Natta, our only Italian Nobel Prize in Chemistry and last but not least Prof. Robert Woodward that gave a touch of artistry to organic synthesis.

Which paper of yours you are the proudest of and why?
Every paper has a story and there’s so much work behind that you must be proud of everything you did. At the beginning it is not so easy to publish and you push a lot to reach the goal, so for sure my first paper has been quite hard work. Anyway, just have a look to my profile on google scholar and check out, there’s some pretty nice stuff that I’m proud of:
https://scholar.google.it/citations?user=x-zUbsIAAAAJ&hl=it

Which field of medicinal chemistry do you consider the most promising in the future?
I think that cancer is still the greatest problem of our era, we must improve the weapons we have against it, another emerging and urgent problem is improving our antibiotics pull to fight infections and bacterial resistance. So I would say that these two still remain the challenges to face in the future.

“THE PERIODIC TABLE AND US” – EFMC ATTENDS THE EUCHEMS EVENT IN THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT

As supporter of the “International Year of the Periodic Table of Chemical Elements 2019 (IYPT2019)”, the EFMC attended the EuChemS Event in the European Parliament on January 22, 2019. 

EuChemS President Pilar Goya & MEP Catherine Stihler unveiled the new EuChemS Periodic Table, which depicts the availability of the natural elements.

This event was not only an opportunity to celebrate the 150th anniversary of Mendeleïev’s Periodic Table and its immense impact on modern science and technology, as described by Natalia Tarasova, IUPAC Past President, but also to raise awareness of the increasing problems of element scarcity as thought-provokingly described by David Cole-Hamilton, EuChemS Vice-President.

The event told the fascinating story behind the recent discovery of the oldest known wallchart of the Periodic Table (c. 1885) and the scientific skills needed by historians to trace and date its origin.

The event was well-attended by representatives of EuChemS, the European Research Council, the European Commission and the European Parliament. A class of pupils from the European School of Brussels also attended. Several speakers, including MEPs Catherine Stihler and Clare Moody, highlighted the need to bring women forward in science and technology – as out of the 118 elements in the Periodic Table, only 4 are named after a woman.

The full report of the event, as well as presentations of the speakers can be found on the EuChemS website, under this link (https://www.euchems.eu/the-periodic-table-and-us/)

The EuChemS Periodic Table artwork is available is multiple language and can be downloaded here (https://www.euchems.eu/euchems-periodic-table/) – Spread the word!

Report by Brieuc Matagne (EFMC Administrative Secretariat)

NEWS FROM THE FRENCH MEDICINAL CHEMISTRY SOCIETY (SCT)

The SCT is pleased to announce that applications are open for the Pierre Fabre Award for therapeutic innovation as well as an upcoming event. 

Applications are open for the Pierre Fabre Award for Therapeutic Innovation

Pierre Fabre, founder of the "Laboratoires Pierre Fabre", the second biggest independent pharmaceutical company in France, was an entrepreneur with a passion for science and pharmaceutical research for the benefit of humankind. He was a visionary manager, and, until the last moment of his life, he was involved in developing pharmaceutical activities, while being very close to his associates.

The name of Pierre Fabre is strongly associated with the spirit of “Therapeutic innovation”. In honour of its founder and in association with the French Medicinal Chemistry Society, the company Pierre Fabre Médicamenthas a new award to recognise a decisive action, a scientific discovery or an innovative technology contributing to a substantial therapeutic innovation. This contribution may rise from very early phase of research and the aim of this prize is to nominate a talented researcher.

The “Pierre Fabre Award for Therapeutic Innovation” (amount of 3000 €) will be given during the International Conference on Medicinal Chemistry (RICT), an annual SCT meeting, by a Pierre Fabre company representative and the SCT president.

The deadline for submission is April 19th, 2019

All information about the call can be found here (http://www.sct-asso.fr/prix_pierre_fabre.html)

 

26th Young Research Fellows Meeting, 26èmes Journées Jeunes Chercheurs. Paris, France – February 20-22, 2019

The YRFM Young Research Fellows Meeting is an initiative of the French Medicinal Chemistry Society (SCT). This 26th edition will gathered 350 young participants from Europe and will take place in Paris at the Faculty of Pharmacy Paris-Sud during three days (February, 20-22).

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 speakers:

Gilles Guichard (IECB, Bordeaux, France)
Foldamers for mimicking and engineering the backbone of biologically active peptides.
Gilles Pagès (IRCAN, Nice, France)
New therapeutic approaches in resistant kidney cancer care.
Fernanda Borges (Faculté de Pharmacie, Porto, Portugal)
Drug discovery and neurodegenerative diseases: time for a change of tack.
Chantal Andraud (ENS, Lyon, France)
Biphotonic molecules in the service of biophotonics.
Emmanuel Mikros (Faculté de Pharmacie, Athens, Greece), highlighted as an EFMC Lecture
Using advanced and analytical tools for efficient discovery of new bioactive compounds.
Souad Ammar (Paris-Diderot University, Paris, France)
Colloidal chemistry for dual magnetic resonance and optical imaging probe processing: luminescent ß_NaY0.8Ln0.2F4 (Ln = Eu, Er…) nanoparticle coated by a superparamagnetic γ_Fe2O3 polycrystalline shell as a case study.

Young senior researchers will also present their work during keynote lectures:

Cyril Ronco (ICN, Nice, France), awarded in 2019 by SCT (SCT Award for young investigator in medicinal chemistry)
ER Stress inducers targeting resistant cancers.
Bart Roman (University of Ghent, Ghent, Belgium)
Pharmacology of motor proteins: a fast-moving field.
Steeve Huvelle (Faculty of Pharmacy, Tours, France)
Original site-specific antibody-drug conjugates.

In coordination with the European COST action MuTaLig, a specific session will be devoted to multi-targeted drugs on Friday afternoon, with lectures from:

Stefano Alcaro (University of Catanzaro, Catanzaro, Italy)
From the MuTaLig COST Action to the Net4Science academic spin-off: one evolution branch of a research project for multi-target drug discovery.
Danijel Kikelj (University of Lubjana, Lubjana, Slovenia)
Discovery of dual gyrase A/gyrase B inhibitors with antibacterial activity.
Eugenio Gaudio (Istitute of Oncology Research, Bellinzona, Swizzerland)
Selection of biological targets and assessments of biological data: a case study.
Hanoch Senderowitz (Bar Ilan University, Tel Aviv, Israel)
Computational tools for multi-target drug discovery.
Saron Bryant (Inte:Ligand, Vienna, Austria)
Advanced 3D-pharmacophores & the MuTaLig chemoteca: enhancing virtual screening efficacity.

Many prestigious prizes will be attributed for best oral communications, and posters.

35 oral communications selected from abstracts

40 Flash Poster Presentations selected from abstracts

Poster sessions (more than 150 posters)

Individual career sessions: more than 65 face-to-face meetings between young investigators and recruiters for a job interview simulation or CV correction.

Contact: young.medchem@sct-asso.fr

Information: http://www.sct-asso.fr/yrfm.html

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

The BMCS is pleased to announce the inaugural inductee to its Hall of Fame as well as some upcoming events. 

Professor Ganellin, Emeritus Professor of Medicinal Chemistry at University College London, has inspired chemists and those in the pharmaceutical industry for decades. He devised the syllabus and taught for many years at the now well established RSC Medicinal Chemistry Summer School. He is a drug hunter, and has had exceptional industrial and academic careers. His pioneering work, including the discoveries of the first histamine H2 and H3 receptor antagonists as medicines, has changed the lives of millions of patients.

The purpose of this award is to recognize prominent chemists for outstanding, sustained, and significant scientific impact, or contributions to any area of interest to the BMCS, e.g. medicinal chemistry, agriscience, bioorganic chemistry, chemical biology.

The formal medal presentation will be made at one of the BMCS symposia in 2019.

Upcoming BMCS Events:

7TH RSC-BMCS FRAGMENT-BASED DRUG DISCOVERY
24th to 26th March 2019, Churchill College, Cambridge, UK
Website: http://www.rsc.org/events/detail/33945/fragments-2019-7th-rsc-bmcs-fragment-based-drug-discovery-meeting

Synopsis: The aim of the 7th RSC-BMCS Fragment-based Drug Discovery meeting will be to continue the focus on case studies in Fragment-based Drug Discovery that have delivered compounds to late stage medicinal chemistry, preclinical or clinical programmes. The Fragment series was started in 2007 and continues with the theme, having over three-quarters of the presentations focused on case studies. The conference will include successful examples from all types of fragment-based approaches, including high concentration, NMR, SPR and X-ray screening

RECENT PROGRESS IN INTEGRIN-TARGETED DRUG DISCOVERY
28th March 2019, Royal Society of Chemistry at Burlington House, London, UK
Website: http://www.rsc.org/events/detail/30991/integrin-targeted-drug-discovery

Synopsis: Integrin targeted therapeutics have been under investigation for some time, but few compounds have made it to / remained on the market due to side effects or lack of efficacy. Given the more recent structural insights, better understanding of downstream pathways, and potential application to a range of therapeutic areas, there has been a resurgence of interest in integrin inhibitors. This symposium will bring together researchers in this area to provide both a historical overview and recent progress in designing the next generation of integrin inhibitors.

PROTEIN-PROTEIN INTERACTIONS 2019
4th-5th April, University of Leeds, Leeds, UK
Website: http://www.rsc.org/events/detail/35375/protein-protein-interactions-2019

Synopsis: Virtually all vital cellular processes are controlled by protein-protein interactions (PPIs). Owing to the potential opportunities that being able to modulate PPIs would bring, the past decade has seen this field gain increasing scientific interest and stimulated significant academic and industrial innovation. Speakers from industry and academia will describe strategies for addressing the challenges they face whilst showcasing the opportunity for creativity and innovation.

NEWS FROM EUCHEMS: 2018 YEARBOOK IS AVAILABLE

EuChemS has published the 2018 Year Book, an annual report which looks back on the activities and achievements carried out by the European Chemical Society and its community over the year. The Year Book includes an editorial by EuChemS President Pilar Goya, and articles by Vice-President David Cole-Hamilton, Secretary General Nineta Hrastelj, and Science Communication and Policy Officer Alex Schiphorst. Divided between chapters, the Year Book explores the 2018 initiatives and actions in policy areas, meetings and events, as well as awards, the 7th EuChemS Chemistry Congress in Liverpool, and the International Year of the Periodic Table, with much more besides.You can download and rea the

2018 Year Book here.

THIS MONTH’S HIGHLIGHTED MEDCHEMCOMM ARTICLE - DESIGN AND CHARACTERIZATION OF A HETEROCYCLIC ELECTROPHILIC FRAGMENT LIBRARY FOR THE DISCOVERY OF CYSTEINE-TARGETED COVALENT INHIBITORS

In this article, Keseru et al. report the design and characterization of an electrophilic fragment library for use in the synthesis of targeted covalent inhibitors.

This article is included in the MedChemComm Molecular Pharmacology themed collection, which highlights the latest advances in the exploration and application of emerging pharmacological modalities.


Read the article!

THE LATEST EDITION OF MEDCHEMCOMM, THE OFFICIAL JOURNAL OF THE EFMC, IS AVAILABLE AT:

MedChemComm

 

EFMC SPONSORED EVENTS

February 20-22, 2019
Paris, France
26th Young Research Fellows Meeting

March 6-8, 2019
Frankfurt, Germany
EUFEPS Annual Meeting 2019

March 13, 2019
Windlesham, United Kingdom
5th RSC-BMCS Symposium on Mastering Medicinal Chemistry

March 22, 2019
Utrecht, The Netherlands
Spring Symposium: Postgenomic Strategies in Drug Discovery

March 24-27, 2019
Wuerzburg, Germany
Frontiers in Medicinal Chemisty

March 28, 2019
London, United Kingdom
Integrin Targeted Drug Discovery

June 27-30, 2019
Prague, Czech Republic
11th Joint Meeting on Medicinal Chemistry

EFMC ORGANISED EVENTS

April 28 - May 1, 2019 
Oegstgeest (near Leiden), The Netherlands
15th EFMC Short Course on Medicinal Chemistry - Strategies in Fragment Based Drug Discovery

June 10-13, 2019 
Krakow, Poland
EFMC-ACSMEDI MedChem Frontiers 2019

EFMC ACCREDITED SCHOOL

EFMC SPONSORED SCHOOL

September 11-13, 2019
Pescara, Italy
Summer School in Pharmaceutical Analysis (SSPA)

September 15-20, 2019
Vienna, Austria
EUROPIN Summer School on Drug Design

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