Chicago Researchers Receive Award for Innovative HIV Drug-Making Process

A team of chemists from Abbott Laboratories in Abbott Park, Ill., was honored June 3 by the world’s largest scientific society for developing an innovative process for producing the HIV/AIDS drugs ritonavir and lopinavir. They will receive one of two 2002 Industrial Innovation Awards at the American Chemical Society’s Great Lakes regional meeting in Minneapolis, Minn.

“Multidisciplinary teams will be the main force driving the development of the products, materials and technologies that advance civilization in the 21st century,” said Eli Pearce, president of the American Chemical Society. “Individual members of the team share knowledge to achieve a common goal, achieving more than each could alone. Thus, the team becomes a whole that is greater than the sum of its parts.”

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimate that nearly one million people in the United States are infected with HIV/AIDS. AIDS-related deaths fell approximately 70 percent from 1995 to 1999, in part because of the introduction of a new class of drugs called protease inhibitors. These drugs are so complex, however, the pharmaceutical industry once doubted they could be produced in commercial quantities.

By redesigning the synthesis of the drug molecule’s central core, the Abbott Laboratories team developed an innovative process for producing the protease inhibitor ritonavir (Norvir®). This new method led to the discovery of the next-generation protease inhibitor lopinavir (Kaletra®), which was approved in September 2000.

The American Chemical Society’s Industrial Innovation Awards recognize individuals and teams whose discoveries and inventions contribute to the commercial success of their companies and enhance our quality of life.

Michael S. Allen, Ph.D., is a group leader at Abbott Laboratories. He received his B.S. in chemistry from Benedictine College in Lisle, Ill., in 1985 and his Ph.D. in organic chemistry from the University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, in 1991. He resides in Trevor, Wisc.

Tom Campbell is a senior project manager at Abbott Laboratories. He received his B.S. in chemical engineering from the University of Wisconsin, Madison, in 1987. He resides in Mundelein, Ill.

Sanjay R. Chemburkar, Ph.D., is an associate research fellow and senior group leader at Abbott Laboratories. He received his B.S. and M.S. from the University of Bombay, India, in 1979 and 1981 and his Ph.D. in organic chemistry from the University of Miami (Florida), in 1987. He resides in Gurnee, Ill.

Jinhua Chen, Ph.D., is a senior scientist at Abbott Laboratories. He received his B.Sc. from Xiamen University in China in 1982; his M.Sc. in chemistry from the Academia Sinica in China in 1985; and his Ph.D. from the University of New Brunswick in Canada in 1994. He resides in Gurnee, Ill.

Brian T. Fohey is a senior development chemist at Abbott Laboratories. He received a B.S. in biology and chemistry from Carroll College in Waukesha, Wisc., in 1983. He resides in Kenosha, Wisc.

Anthony R. Haight, Ph.D., is a senior group leader at Abbott Laboratories. He received his B.S. in chemistry from Ohio State University in 1985 and his Ph.D. in organic chemistry from the University of Wisconsin, Madison, in 1990. He resides in Wadsworth, Ill.

Francis A. J. Kerdesky, Ph.D., is a research investigator at Abbott Laboratories. He received his B.S. in chemistry from Wilkes University in Wilkes-Barre, Pa., in 1975 and his Ph.D. in organic chemistry from the University of Pennsylvania in 1980. He resides in Grayslake, Ill.

Denton Langridge, Ph.D., is a senior group leader at Abbott Laboratories. He received his Ph.D. in organic chemistry from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, in 1984. He resides in Grayslake, Ill.

Bikshandarkoil A. Narayanan, Ph.D., is an associate research fellow at Abbott Laboratories. He received his B.Sc. in chemistry from Madras University, India, in 1975; his M.Sc. in chemistry from the Indian Institute of Technology in Madras, India, in 1977; and his Ph.D. in organic chemistry from Vanderbilt University in 1982. He resides in Mundelein, Ill.

William H. Owens, Ph.D., is a senior development chemist at Abbott Laboratories. He received his B.S. in chemistry from the State University of New York at Stony Brook in 1972 and his Ph.D. in organic chemistry from the State University of New York at Buffalo in 1977. He resides in Arlington Heights, Ill.

Ketan M. Patel is a senior scientist at Abbott Laboratories. He received his B.S. in chemistry and physics at Gujarat University, India, in 1983 and his M.S. in organic chemistry from S.P. University, India, in 1985. He resides in Wheeling, Ill.

Timothy A. Robbins, Ph.D., is a research investigator chemist at Abbott Laboratories. He received his B.S. in chemistry from Olivet Nazarene University in Bourbonnais, Ill., in 1984 and his Ph.D. in organic chemistry from the University of Nevada, Reno, in 1990. He resides in Gurnee, Ill.

Harry O. Spiwek is a research scientist at Abbott Laboratories. He received his B.S. in chemistry from the University of Wisconsin, Parkside, in 1986. He resides in Kenosha, Wisc.

Eric John Stoner, Ph.D., is a group leader at Abbott Laboratories. He received his B.S. in chemistry from the University of Wisconsin, Madison, in 1986 and his Ph.D. in chemistry from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1991. He resides in Kenosha, Wisc.

Jien-Hen James Tien, Ph.D., is an associate research fellow at Abbott Laboratories. He received his Ph.D. in organic chemistry from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, in 1983. He resides in Vernon Hills, Ill.

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