Congratulations to ACS Authors William C. Campbell and Satoshi Ōmura, who were awarded one half of the 2015 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for their discoveries concerning a novel therapy against infections caused by roundworm parasites. The researchers developed Ivermectin and Avermectin, drugs that cure diseases caused by parasitic roundworms, including river blindness and elephantiasis. The other half of the prize goes to Youyou Tu of China’s Academy of Traditional Chinese Medicine for her discovery of Artemisinin, a drug against malaria.
Ōmura confirmed that the Avermectin family of natural products emerged from soil samples containing Streptomyces bacteria that he had collected near a golf course. His co-winner Campbell, who was then working at Merck, led the medicinal chemistry campaign that turned Avermectin into Ivermectin.
Read about the secret research initiative that lead to these revolutionary therapies at Chemical & Engineering News.
According to the World Health Organization, infectious diseases kill almost 3.5 million people annually. Earlier this year, ACS Publications launched ACS Infectious Diseases, a journal dedicated to chemistry research related to the study of infectious disease. The journal provides critical insights into this globally important research area. View research and learn more at pubs.acs.org/infectious.