Scientists who developed products that improve health and contain safer materials have been inducted into a scientific “Hall of Fame”.

They become the newest Heroes of Chemistry, an honour bestowed by the American Chemical Society (ACS), the world’s largest scientific society. ACS president Diane Grob Schmidt, Ph.D. said:“Thanks to their creative genius and the encouragement and backing of their employers, we have new tools and new hopefor treating a number of difficult diseases.” The latest additions were recognised in a ceremony during the Society’s 250th National Meeting & Exposition in Boston.

They were:

• Bristol-Myers Squibb: For the discovery ofELIQUIS® (apixaban), a oral anticoagulant therapy used most often in patients with atrial fibrillation for whom the risks of stroke, bleeding and death are significantlylower than the decades long standard of care.Among those contributing to thedevelopment 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 anddevelopment of POMALYST® (pomalidomide),a drug that is changing treatment for cancer patients stricken with multiple myeloma.Providing an oral alternative to intravenous (IV) medicines, POMALYST® improves overall survival and survival 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.

• Gilead Sciences, Inc.:For the development of HARVONI®, the first single-tablet regimenfor the treatment of chronic hepatitis C, a disease that affects more than three 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 developedby 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., BenjaminGraetz 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 ofNorthville, 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.

“Thanks to their creative genius and the encouragementand backing of their employers, we have new tools andnew hope for treating a number of difficult diseases”

Diane Grob Schmidt, PhD

ACS president