Prof. Helga Rübsamen-Schaeff, founding CEO and as of March Chair of the Scientific Advisory Board of Wuppertal-based Biotech AiCuris has been honored with the "IUPAC 2015 Distinguished Women in Chemistry or Chemical Engineering Award".
The award, initiated as part of the 2011 International Year of Chemistry celebrations, was created to acknowledge and promote the work of women chemists/chemical engineers worldwide. The awardees are selected based on excellence in basic or applied research, distinguished accomplishments in teaching or education, or demonstrated leadership or managerial excellence in the chemical sciences. The award ceremony took place during the IUPAC World Chemistry Congress in Busan, Korea, on last Tuesday.
Prof. Dr. Helga Ruebsamen-Schaeff commented: "This award is a great honor for me. It confirms that my training as a chemist was an excellent foundation for my work in the pharmaceutical research and development".
"We are very proud that the Chair of our Scientific Advisory Board, Prof. Helga Ruebsamen-Schaeff has been awarded with this price”, AiCuris’ CEO Dr. Holger Zimmermann, complimented and added, “The discovery and successful development of antiviral substances up to the clinic are outstanding events. With this award, her remarkable performance in research and development in particular related to the AiCuris’ compounds Letermovir and Pritelivir, designed for the treatment of the human cytomegalovirus and the herpes simplex virus is highly recognized.”
AiCuris was founded in 2006 as a spin-off from Bayer and is focused on the research and development of drugs against infectious diseases. Majority investor is the Santo Holding of the Strüngmann brothers. The company is developing drugs against viruses such as human cytomegalovirus (HCMV), herpes simplex virus, hepatitis B virus (HBV) and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). With respect to bacteria, AiCuris is focused on innovative treatment options against (multi)resistant nosocomial pathogens. In 2012 AiCuris signed a license agreement with Merck (MSD), which attracted significant attention being one of the largest agreements of this kind in the European biotech industry. It covers novel drug candidates against HCMV. Letermovir, the most advanced compound, is currently in Phase III clinical testing in patients undergoing bone marrow transplantation.
The International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry (IUPAC) is an international federation of National Adhering Organizations that represents chemists in individual countries. IUPAC was established in 1919 as the successor of the International Congress of Applied Chemistry for the advancement of chemistry. IUPAC is best known for its works standardizing nomenclature in chemistry and other fields of science, but IUPAC has publications in many fields including chemistry, biology and physics. Some important work IUPAC has done in these fields includes standardizing nucleotide base sequence code names; publishing books for environmental scientists, chemists, and physicists; and leading the way in improving education in science. IUPAC is also known for standardizing the atomic weights of the elements. (Source: Wikipedia)