Navigation Links
A*STAR scientist Alex Matter awarded prestigious Szent-Györgyi Prize for progress in cancer

1. Professor Alex Matter, Chief Executive Officer of A*STAR's Experimental Therapeutics Centre (ETC), has been awarded the 8th Annual Szent-Gyrgyi Prize for Progress in Cancer Research by the National Foundation for Cancer Research (NFCR) for his contributions to the development of the first drug specifically targeting a molecular lesion in cancer.

2. Professor Matter is a pioneer of the world's first targeted cancer therapy, imatinib mesylate, also known as Glivec[1]. His discovery turned chronic myeloid leukaemia (CML) from a deadly disease into one that can be treated with an oral pill with nearly 90% long-term survival rate, with little or no side-effects. Following Glivec's success in CML, it has been successfully applied to other malignant cancers. Professor Matter's groundbreaking research demonstrated that by specifically inhibiting the activity of key oncogenic cells, it is possible to counteract cancer at the molecular biology level.

3. Chairman of A*STAR's Biomedical Research Council (BMRC), Professor Sir George Radda said, "This award gives due recognition to Alex's significant work which revolutionised anti-cancer drug development and gave a boost to the fight against cancer globally. We are proud to have this luminary working hand-in-hand with us in A*STAR."

4. Professor Matter joined ETC in April 2009, bringing with him his expertise and experience in building bridges between academic research and clinical analysis. ETC now boasts a staff strength of around 80, many of whom are senior group leaders with industrial experience who are able to train young scientists in the rigour of drug discovery and development. Committed to nurturing the young scientists in this highly competitive field, Professor Matter said, "Young people need to be trained for successful and competitive drug discovery. We are training this young generation in drug discovery the way an industrial outfit works."

5. Chairman of A*STAR, Mr. Lim Chuan Poh said, "The phenomenal success of Glivec is a testament to the profound impact that Alex's work has on the approach of cancer drug development. He truly deserves this honour and I extend my heartiest congratulations to him. With his deep expertise in drug discovery, Alex's first-hand experience and in-depth knowledge will guide and mentor Singapore's next generation of scientists in the process of drug discovery and development to meet increasingly difficult healthcare challenges."

6. With a primary mission of translating early stage scientific discoveries into useful clinical applications, ETC is actively involved in collaborations with both public and private sector organisations. Under Professor Matter's leadership, ETC signed a license agreement with Tan Tock Seng Hospital and local company AITbiotech in May last year to market a made-in-Singapore H5N1 bird flu diagnostic kit[2]. The kit allows doctors to rapidly detect all existing strains in a single test with nearly 100% accuracy, within just a few hours.

7. Presently, ETC is working on pre-clinical drug candidates specifically for CML patients who have developed resistance to imatinib mesylate. Carried out in cooperation with Duke-NUS, the drug is expected to enter the clinical trial stage around middle of 2014.

8. Meanwhile, ETC is in the early stages of developing a flu vaccine with A*STAR's SIgN (Singapore Immunology Network), D3 (Drug Discovery and Development) [3], Duke-NUS, DSO and several private companies. By the middle of 2013, the consortium will be able to determine if it is ready for Phase I clinical trials for proof-of-concept in humans. If successful, this flu vaccine will play a critical role in national preparedness as it will ensure that Singaporeans will have access to the vaccine in times of a flu pandemic.

9. Professor Matter has lived in Singapore for the past nine-and-a-half years. Prior to joining ETC as Chief Executive Officer, Professor Matter was the director of the Novartis Institute of Tropical Disease (NITD) since 2004. The NITD is a public-private partnership between Novartis and the Singapore Economic Development Board (EDB), dedicated to finding new medicines for infectious tropical disease, such as tuberculosis, malaria and dengue fever. In addition, Professor Matter is a member of the Board of Singapore's National Medical Research Council and sits on the Board of Curiox, an A*STAR start-up company.

10. The Szent-Gyrgyi Prize for Progress in Cancer Research was established by the National Foundation for Cancer Research in honour of its co-founder Dr. Albert Szent-Gyrgyi, who was the recipient of the Nobel Prize for Physiology and Medicine in 1937. Professor Matter is receiving the award at the Szent-Gyrgyi Prize Dinner and Award Ceremony today at the National Press Club in Washington, DC.


Contact: Dr. Sarah Chang
Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR), Singapore

Related medicine news :

1. A*STAR scientists discover switch critical to wound healing
2. Singapore scientists led by A*STARs GIS identify 4 mechanisms that contribute to gastric cancers
3. A*STAR scientists identify potential drug target for inflammatory diseases including cancers
4. Fruit flies light the way for A*STAR scientists to pinpoint genetic changes that spell cancer
5. A*STAR scientists discover switch to boost anti-viral response to fight infectious diseases
6. Could Scientists Peek Into Your Dreams?
7. CWRU-led scientists build material that mimics squid beak
8. Singapore clinician-scientists identify new type of deadly lymphoma
9. Rocket Scientist develops the Ultimate Health & Fitness App
10. Kessler Foundation scientists receive Consortium of MS Centers grant to study emotional processing
11. Scientists identify brains molecular memory switch
Post Your Comments:
(Date:12/1/2015)... ... December 01, 2015 , ... For many X-rays taken ... for accurate interpretation by the radiologist. The marking utensils are so small, however, ... has found a way to alleviate this problem. , He developed the patent-pending ...
(Date:12/1/2015)... , ... December 01, 2015 , ... ... of Excellence (BHCOE) today announced that the organization has awarded Education and Developmental ... with a Distinguished Award. The award celebrates exceptional special needs providers that excel ...
(Date:12/1/2015)... MA (PRWEB) , ... December 01, 2015 , ... Lutronic, ... release of Clarity, the latest addition to the devices for sale in the United ... 755 nm Alexandrite and long-pulsed 1064 nm Nd:YAG lasers, into a single platform that ...
(Date:12/1/2015)... Menlo Park, CA (PRWEB) , ... December 01, 2015 , ... ... Challenge (XTC) has selected 10 semi-finalists to head to Las Vegas for CES 2016, ... distinguished judges including CEO of Consumer Technology Association Gary Shapiro, Founding Partner of Pacific ...
(Date:12/1/2015)... China (PRWEB) , ... December 01, 2015 , ... Nurotron ... result in its largest order to date. , The order will be from ... systems. Nurotron’s Venus Cochlear Implant System is an effective solution for children and adults ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:12/1/2015)... 1, 2015 Array BioPharma Inc. ... its Chief Executive Officer, Ron Squarer ... Healthcare Conference in New York.  The public ... through a webcast on the Array BioPharma ... --> , ...
(Date:12/1/2015)... 2015 Assurex Health, Inc. today announced ... healthcare providers an expanded range of options in ... from depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, posttraumatic stress disorder ... i .   --> ... addition of two new drug classes, 17 FDA-approved ...
(Date:12/1/2015)... 2015 --> ... "Nucleic Acid Labeling Market by Product (Reagents & Kits, ... In Vitro Transcription, Reverse Transcription, End Labeling), by Region ... global market is expected to reach USD 1,925.7 Million ... at a CAGR of 8.65%. Browse 77 ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: