10 April 2013
2013 winner of the SCI Canada Julia Levy Award:
Julian Adams is a native of Montreal and graduated with a BSc from McGill University and received his PhD from MIT. Adams is a renowned medicinal chemist, drug developer, and entrepreneur. While Director of medicinal chemistry at Boehringer Ingelheim’s Laval site in Quebec he headed the team that created the drug Viramune for HIV treatment: a drug grossing $370 million (US) annually.
Adams is particularly known for spearheading the discovery and development of the blockbuster drug bortezomib (marketed as Velcade). It was the first successful boron-containing drug, and is often the drug of choice for patients — about 75,000 in North America — suffering from multiple myeloma (bone marrow cancer). More than 160,000 patients have been treated. It is approved in 90 countries and sales in 2009 were $1.9 billion, with projected sales for 2015 of $3.0 billion. Adams is currently the president of research and development of Infinity Pharmaceuticals.