‘Heroes of Chemistry’ developed products that improve health, homes and automobiles

WASHINGTON, June 29, 2015 — Scientists who developed products that improve health, and safer materials used to produce plastics, will be inducted into a scientific “Hall of Fame” later this summer, becoming the newest Heroes of Chemistry, an honor bestowed by the American Chemical Society (ACS), the world’s largest scientific society.

“When we look at the achievements of the 2015 Heroes of Chemistry, we see first-hand how the transforming power of chemistry is improving millions of lives all over the world. Thanks to their creative genius and the encouragement and backing of their employers, we have new tools and new hope for treating a number of difficult diseases, and we have new technology that’s making our homes, cars and consumer products ever more durable,” says ACS president Diane Grob Schmidt, Ph.D.

The Heroes of Chemistry program recognizes scientists whose innovative work in chemistry and chemical engineering led to commercial products that benefit the world. The teams will be recognized in a ceremony on August 16, during the Society’s 250th National Meeting & Exposition in Boston.

The following scientific teams will be honored:

  • Bristol-Myers Squibb: For the discovery of ELIQUIS® (apixaban), a novel oral anticoagulant therapy used most often in patients with atrial fibrillation for whom the risks of stroke, bleeding and death are significantly lower than the decades long standard of care.  Among those contributing to the discovery and development of this drug were Donald Pinto of Churchville, Pa.; Michael Orwat of New Hope, Pa; Mimi Quan of Yardley, Pa.; Patrick Lam of Chadds Ford, Pa. (former Bristol-Myers Squibb employee); Robert Knabb of Avondale, Pa.; and Pancras Wong of Plainsboro, N.J.
  • Celgene Corporation: For the discovery and development of POMALYST® (pomalidomide), a drug that is changing the treatment paradigm for cancer patients stricken with multiple myeloma. Providing an oral alternative to intravenous (IV) medicines, POMALYST® improves overall survival and survival without progression for patients who have exhausted standard treatments in earlier lines of the disease. Honorees include George Muller of Rancho Santa Fe, Calif., and Roger Shen-Chu Chen of Edison, N.J.
  • Dow Chemical: For the development of INSITE™, a revolutionary technology that made possible highly-tailored materials bridging the properties of plastic and rubber. Soft-touch materials used in car interiors, rubber roofing, and consumer packaging options branded as ENGAGE™, NORDEL™ or AFFINITY™ have been made possible by the breakthrough catalyst technology of INSITE™. Researchers involved in this project include David Devore, Morris Edmondson, Pradeep Jain, George Knight, Brian Kolthammer, Shih-Yaw Law, Robert LaPointe, David Neithamer, Peter Nickias, Jasson Patton, Robert Rosen, James Stevens, Francis Timmers, Daniel VanderLende and David Wilson.
  • Eastman Chemical Company: For the development of Eastman Tritan™ copolyester, a new family of engineering plastics that are clear, tough, chemical-resistant, and free of estrogenic and androgenic activity. Developed and commercialized in only four years, Tritan™ has proven to be a safe alternative in today’s consumer market. The honorees, who are all based in Kingsport, Tennessee, include Benjamin Barton, Emmett Crawford, Ted Germroth, Christopher Killian, Anthony Messina and David Porter.
  • Gilead Sciences, Inc.: For the development of HARVONI®, the first single-tablet regimen for the treatment of chronic hepatitis C, a disease that affects more than 3 million Americans and 170 million individuals worldwide. HARVONI® contains two direct acting antivirals, sofosbuvir and ledipasvir, and is 94-99 percent effective for the most common form of chronic hepatitis C. HARVONI® was discovered and developed by Cheng Yong (Chris) Yang of Foster City, Calif.; Bruce Ross of El Granada, Calif.; Michael Sofia of Doylestown, Pa.; John Link and Erik Mogalian of San Francisco, Calif., Benjamin Graetz and Bob Scott of San Mateo, Calif.; and Rowchanak Pakdaman of San Carlos, Calif.
  • Pfizer: For the development of XELJANZ® (tofacitinib citrate), a revolutionary oral therapy for the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis, which affects nearly 24 million people worldwide. Honorees include Mark Flanagan of Gales Ferry, Conn.; Michael Munchhof of Salem, Conn.; Paul Changelian of Northville, Mich.; Chakrapani Subramanyam of South Glastonbury, Conn.; Frank Urban of Old Saybrook, Conn.; Rajappa Vaidyanathan of Bangalore, India; Matt Brown of Stonington, Conn.; William Brissette of Stonington, Conn.; Elizabeth Kudlacz, Eileen Elliott, Douglas Ball, Frank Busch, Robert Dugger, and Sally Gut Ruggeri of Groton, Conn.; Michael Fisher of Oxford, Conn.; and Todd Blumenkopf (deceased).

Each year, Heroes of Chemistry are nominated by their respective companies to recognize their talent, creativity and innovation. Previous Heroes have excelled in innovation at prominent international corporations and have developed numerous commercial products that demonstrate strong financial performance. The commercial success of their products in the marketplace is an important criterion for this honor, because we recognize that good business results follow good science.

For more information about the program and this year’s winners, visit the Heroes of Chemistry webpage.

The American Chemical Society is a nonprofit organization chartered by the U.S. Congress. With more than 158,000 members, ACS is the world’s largest scientific society and a global leader in providing access to chemistry-related research through its multiple databases, peer-reviewed journals and scientific conferences. Its main offices are in Washington, D.C., and Columbus, Ohio.

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Note: ACS does not conduct research, but publishes and publicizes peer-reviewed scientific studies.

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