Crews awarded UCB-Ehrlich Award for work on anti-cancer therapy

August 18, 2014

Craig Crews, the Lewis B. Cullman Professor of Molecular, Cellular and Developmental Biology and professor of chemistry and pharmacology, has been awarded the 2014 UCB-Ehrlich Award for Excellence in Medicinal Chemistry.

Crews, who is also executive director of the Yale Center for Molecular Discovery at West Campus, is acclaimed for his work to develop Kyprolis®, a Food & Drug Administration (FDA)-approved anti-cancer therapy for patients with relapsed multiple myeloma. Starting with epoxomicin, a naturally occurring microbial product isolated in 1993, Crews made several critical chemical modifications to transform epoxomicin into Kyprolis® — a potent and soluble treatment for cancer patients.

In 2002, Crews launched Proteolix, Inc, a biotech focused on Kyprolis® clinical development, which was acquired by Onyx Pharmaceuticals in 2009.  Recently, Kyprolis® passed a FDA Phase III clinical trial, which will allow it to be used to treat patients with early-stage cancer.

Crews will be presented with this award in September at the European Federation for Medicinal Chemistry’s International Symposium on Medicinal Chemistry in Lisbon, Portugal. Along with the award, Crews will receive $10,000 and will deliver a lecture on his work at the meeting.