The "UCB-Ehrlich Award for Excellence in Medicinal Chemistry"

The “UCB-Ehrlich Award for Excellence in Medicinal Chemistry” was established to acknowledge and recognise outstanding research in the field of Medicinal Chemistry in its broadest sense. The Award is given biennially and consists of a diploma, € 7.500 and an invitation to present a lecture at an EFMC-ISMC symposium.

The Award shall be open to any Scientist whose age does not exceed 50 years on January 1st of the year during which the Award is to be presented.

Laureate 2022 announced!

The 2022 UCB-Ehrlich Award for Excellence in Medicinal Chemistry has been awarded to:

  • Prof. Mike Waring (Newcastle University, United Kingdom)

For his conceptual work on the role of lipophilicity and for the contribution to advance the field of covalent inhibitors in medicinal chemistry. Mike Waring has been involved in drug discovery and development projects that resulted in several drug candidates reaching clinical trials, including the EGFR inhibitor osimertinib for the treatment of non-small cell lung cancer. Overall, he has made impactful contributions to small molecule drug discovery using novel hit generation approaches such as DNA encoded libraries and fragment-based lead generation.

Laureate 2020

Dr Malin Lemurell
AstraZeneca, Sweden

For her contribution to the discovery and development of several drug candidates and her leadership in medicinal chemistry. Her most recent contributions while leading a 60-strong medicinal chemistry group at AstraZeneca to deliver on pipeline projects in the Cardiovascular, Renal and Metabolism disease area across multiple modalities also includes harnessing innovation in the fields of RNA targeting with small molecules, RNA imaging with fluorescent nucleotide probes, machine learning applications in drug discovery projects and new modalities.

Laureate 2018

Prof. Adam Nelson
University of Leads, United Kingdom

For his ground breaking work to explore novel chemical space, especially natural product-like, diversity-oriented and activity-directed synthesis.  Prof. Nelson implemented his vision that chemical synthesis should align with drug discovery needs, and introduced methods that have been taken up by the medicinal chemistry community to profile synthetic targets for lead-likeness and chemical novelty. He plays an important role in the European Lead Factory, chairing its Library Selection Committee, and leads the “Next Generation Chemistry for Medicine” theme at the Rosalind Franklin Institute, in the UK.

Laureate 2016

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.

Laureate 2014

Prof. Craig Crews
Yale University, Department of Chemistry, New Haven, USA

For outstanding research into natural products and chemical biology. He co-founded Proteolix and pioneered the design and development of the proteasome inhibitor, carfilzomib (Kyprolis) which was approved by the FDA in 2012 for the treatment of relapsed and refractory multiple myeloma. Carfilzomib was inspired by the cytotoxic activity of the natural product, epoxomycin. Craig Crews devised a total synthesis and worked out the biochemical mechanism of action. Subsequent research using X-ray crystallography and medicinal chemistry led to this successful anti-cancer drug. Craig Crews has over 100 publications and patents and is known internationally as an academic, an entrepreneur and a drug discoverer.

Laureate 2012

Professor Krzysztof Jozwiak
Medical University of Lublin, Lublin, Poland

The EFMC awards the UCB-Ehrlich Award for Excellence in Medicinal Chemistry to a young scientist for outstanding research in the field of Medicinal Chemistry in its broadest sense.
The EFMC is pleased to announce that the recipient of the 2012 UCB – Ehrlich Award for outstanding achievements in the field of Medicinal Chemistry is Professor Krzysztof Jozwiak.
This award is the recognition of Prof. Jozwiak’s excellent contributions in the area of ligand design for nicotinic, AMPA and adrenergic receptors using a variety of theoretical and experimental techniques to characterize drug-receptor interactions, stereoselectivity of drug action and application of various computational methods to understanding drug action. In particular, he has developed fenetrol derivatives which are selective for â2-adrenergic receptors by careful study and synthesis of different stereoisomers. These compounds are of interest in the cardiovascular area as well as for the potential treatment of brain tumors.

Laureate 2010

Dr. Anthony Wood, Pfizer Global Research and Development, UK
Winner of the 2010 UCB-Ehrlich Award for Excellence in Medicinal Chemistry

For his instrumental role in the discovery of Maraviroc, the first small molecule antagonist of the CCR5 receptor marketed for the therapy of HIV infections. Maraviroc represents the first successful advancement of a chemokine receptor modulator to the market and for the first time provided an antiviral therapy that targets a host protein rather than a viral protein.

Laureate 2008

Prof. Peter H. Seeberger, Laboratory for Organic Chemistry, Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH) Zuerich, Switzerland
Winner of the 2008 UCB-Ehrlich Award for Excellence in Medicinal Chemistry

This award is the recognition of Professor Seeberger’s excellent contributions in the fields of automated oligosaccharide synthesis, carbohydrate microarrays and microreactors, synthetic heparin oligosaccharides and synthetic oligosaccharides as vaccine candidates. Remarkably, his research has resulted in the clinical development of compounds for the potential use as Malaria or Anthrax vaccines. The brilliant results achieved by Prof. Seeberger lay the foundations on the vertical integration of his scientifically ambitious program from methods in organic synthesis to applications of oligosaccharides to the prevention of diseases of the developing world.

Laureate 2006

Dr Bernd Riedl, Director at BayerHealthCare AG, Leverkusen, Germany
Winner of the 2006 UCB Award for Excellence in Medicinal Chemistry

Dr. Riedl receives this award for his outstanding scientific work leading to the discovery of the raf-kinase inhibitor Sorafenib (Bay-43-9006, Nexavar), the first example of the discovery of a new medicine which combines classical rationale drug discovery approach with the use of new technologies.

Laureate 2004

The UCB Award for Excellence in Medicinal Chemistry 2004 for Prof. Jesper Wengel

The award was granted to Prof. Jesper Wengel, University of Southern Denmark, on the basis of his outstanding scientific curriculum vitae. In particular, his discovery of Locked Nucleic Acids (LNA) has been highly significant in the field of the discovery of effective antisense oligonucleotides. This discovery has greatly enhanced the chances of a successful development of oligonucleotide-based therapeutic agents.
The Award was presented during the Opening Session of the XVIIIth International Symposium on Medicinal Chemistry, on Sunday, August 15, in Copenhagen, Denmark.

Laureate 2002

The UCB Award for Excellence in Medicinal Chemistry 2002 for Dr. Jürg Zimmermann, NOVARTIS, Basel, Switzerland

zefefzThe first "UCB Award for Excellence in Medicinal Chemistry" has been given to Dr. Jürg Zimmermann of Novartis, Switzerland. Dr. Zimmermann received the Award for his fundamental contributions in medicinal chemistry to the discovery and development of Imatinib (Glivec/Gleevec, STI 571), a Protein Kinase Inhibitor and novel treatment for Chronic Myeloid Leukemia. Imatinib is considered as one of the revolutions in the therapeutic treatment of cancer, and could become the therapy of choice. The Jury noted the Excellence in Medicinal Chemistry, combining chemical knowledge with a profound expertise in molecular pharmacology together with rigorous molecular design techniques, which formed the basis of this work.

Award Sponsor

This Award has been established with the support of UCB.