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15 June 2012
A University expert in drug discovery has been recognised with an Inspire Wales Award.
The awards, run by the Institute of Welsh Affairs (IWA) in association with the Western Mail, aims to reward and recognise those that make a profound impact on Welsh life and society. The University sponsored the Educator award category, presented by Professor Jonathan Osmond, Pro Vice-Chancellor Education and Students.
Professor Chris McGuigan, Professor of Medicinal Chemistry and Deputy Pro Vice-Chancellor (Research) won the Science and Technology category sponsored by Western Power Distribution.
The award recognises Professor McGuigan’s scientific career of more than 30 years during which time he has trained in excess of 100 research students and researchers. His laboratory is extremely active in the discovery and development of drugs for a number of diseases.
The award highlighted the experimental drug INX-189, first synthesised less than three years ago in the laboratory in the Welsh School of Pharmacy & Pharmaceutical Sciences and active against Hepatitis C. This disease affects some 170 million individuals worldwide (3 per cent of the human population) and current treatment is unsatisfactory.
Now in the second stage of clinical trials, the drug developed by Professor McGuigan and his research team at Cardiff, changed hands in Bristol-Myers Squibb's £1.6bn takeover of US biotech firm Inhibitex.
Professor McGuigan Welsh School of Pharmacy & Pharmaceutical Sciences said: "I am delighted to receive this award and share in this recognition with my team at Cardiff and our collaborators at Inhibitex and now BMS. The award recognises both a scientific and a commercial success for Cardiff, Wales and beyond."
Professor Peter Edwards, Cardiff School of Chemistry was also shortlisted for the Educator category for an individual who has pioneered an initiative which has been hailed as an example of good practice in their locality, region or throughout Wales.
Now in their third year the IWA Inspire Awards celebrate the achievements of individuals throughout Wales in the fields of business, education, science, arts and media, the environment and sport, as well as seeking champions in corporate social responsibility, citizenship and young achievers.
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