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:11/27/2015)... ... November 27, 2015 , ... According to an article published ... that they are handling security in light of the recent terrorist attacks in Paris, ... attempt to stop an attack from reaching U.S. soil. Especially around special events that ...
(Date:11/27/2015)... ... 2015 , ... A team of Swiss doctors has released a report on ... just posted the findings on the website. Click here to read the details ... mesothelioma patients who were treated with chemotherapy followed by EPP surgery. Among the 106 ...
(Date:11/27/2015)... ... November 27, 2015 , ... "When I was traveling, I ... Hillside, N.J. "Many people catch diseases simply from sitting on such dirty toilet ... protected from germs." , He developed the patent-pending QUDRATECS to eliminate the need ...
(Date:11/27/2015)... ... November 27, 2015 , ... The print component ... Today in Atlanta, Dallas, New York, Minneapolis, South Florida, with a circulation of ... distributed nationally, through a vast social media strategy and across a network of ...
(Date:11/27/2015)... ... November 27, 2015 , ... MPWH, the No.1 Herpes-only dating community in the world, ... Table 1-1 ). More than 3.7 billion people under the age of 50 – ... according to WHO's first global estimates of HSV-1 infection . , "The data shocks ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:11/26/2015)... November 26, 2015 ... addition of the  "2016 Future Horizons ... Therapeutic Drug Monitoring (TDM) Market: Supplier ... Emerging Opportunities"  report to their offering.  ... announced the addition of the  "2016 ...
(Date:11/26/2015)... DUBLIN , November 26, 2015 ... has announced the addition of the  ... in the European Cell Surface Marker ... Emerging Opportunities"  report to their offering.  ... announced the addition of the  "2016 ...
(Date:11/25/2015)...  Linden Care, LLC, a retail specialty pharmacy focused ... suffering from chronic pain, said today that it is ... (TRO) enjoining Express Scripts from unilaterally terminating the Pharmacy ... --> --> The company said that ... --> --> In ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: