Afternote: We’re pleased to see Dan Erlanson made it as a finalist in the awards and Amgen’s sotorasib won “Product of the Year.” Well deserved! Thanks to our readers for voting.
Which drug hunters are making the greatest scientific contributions to drug discovery R&D? Our non-profit partner, California Life Sciences, is currently taking nominations for scientists or teams for their 2021 Pantheon Awards until July 16th. You should show California drug hunters some love by nominating them here.
You can nominate a person or team (Dan Erlanson or the sotorasib KRAS(G12C) team for example), but you can’t nominate an entire company (Amgen). The Scientific Advancement Award is new, but past winners in the Life Sciences Leadership category have included UC Berkeley’s Jennifer Doudna, Vir’s George Scangos, and Gilead’s John Martin.
Here’s some industry drug hunters we have in mind for this award. We’d love to hear what you think!
- Dan Erlanson of Frontier Medicines – for championship of fragment-based drug discovery and advances including the disulfide tethering approach at Sunesis and the chemotype evolution approach at Carmot. These strategies were used to identify both the Shokat and Carmot/Amgen KRAS(G12C) starting points. The Amgen team received accelerated approvalfor the first KRAS(G12C) inhibitor, sotorasib, this year.
- The Celgene IMiDs team – for demonstrating that lenalidomide derivatization is a viable strategy for targeted protein degradation and demonstrating human degradation pharmacodynamics with clinical E3 ligase modulating drugs.
- The Gilead lenacapavir team – for invention and characterization of an effective, bi-annually dosed HIV capsid inhibitorwith a novel accelerator mechanism of action.
View full award details and eligibility criteria here
California has been the leading state in R&D of cutting-edge treatments for decades, and a lot of it is because of the diversity and concentration of talented scientists here. Combination immunotherapy, synthetic lethality, bi-specifics, oligonucleotide and RNA therapies, as well as gene and cell therapies are just some of the cutting-edge areas that California’s top scientists have been pioneering. No matter who gets put forward, it’s likely to be an interesting pool of candidates to vote on later this year.
Explore drughunter.com for more on drug discovery.