Date：23 July (Friday)
Time: 09:00 – 10:30 (GMT+8)
University of Oxford
After medicine, a PhD in immunology with Gus Nossal in Australia led to postdoctoral work in UK, where I have remained. An interest in autoimmune diseases initiated there led to new hypothesis linking cytokines to autoimmune diseases. Testing these identified TNF as a key target and many years were spent developing this concept to its current success. This has led to academic recognition, fellowship of Royal Society, Australian Academy of Science, Foreign fellowship of National Academy of Science, USA, as well as receiving many prestigious prizes, e.g. Crafoord Prize of Royal Swedish Academy (2000), Albert Lasker Clinical Research Award (2003), Ernst Schering Prize, Paul Janssen Award, European Inventor of the Year Award (Lifetime Achievement) in 2007, Canada Gairdner Award (2014) and Tang Prize in 2020.
Anti-TNF therapy was the first big selling monoclonal antibody therapy and has been the world’s best-selling drug class from 2012 to 2020, selling about $30-40 billion/year in recent years. How TNF was found to be a good target for treatment will be reviewed, how combination therapy with methotrexate emerged, and how the uses proliferated will be discussed. The current efficacy and unmet needs will be reviewed and future approaches to improve on current efficacy will be summarized.