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Three Merck chemists win Heroes of Chemistry award for major asthma treatment advance

Three research chemists from Merck Research Laboratories have been named Heroes of Chemistry by the American Chemical Society, the world's largest scientific society, for discovering and developing Singulair®, to help control asthma in adults and children as young as 12 months. Merck Research Laboratories is located in West Point, Pa.

The research team will be honored Sept. 7 at the American Chemical Society's 226th national meeting in New York along with chemists from Abbott Laboratories, Pfizer Inc and Wyeth Pharmaceuticals. The Merck researchers are Robert Young, Ph.D., Robert J. Zamboni, Ph.D., and Marc Labelle, Ph.D. (now with Tularik, Inc., San Francisco, Calif.).

This year the FDA also approved Singulair® for the relief of symptoms of seasonal allergic rhinitis in patients two years and older. Singulair® works by blocking substances in the body called leukotrienes, an underlying cause of asthma and allergy symptoms.

"The broad range of invaluable products that our Heroes of Chemistry have developed and commercialized has dramatically advanced the health, well-being and lifestyles of children around the world," said ACS President Elsa Reichmanis, Ph.D. "The chemical advances made by the honorees serve as testimonials to the valuable role chemists and chemical engineers play in improving lives. It is with pride that the ACS recognizes them as Heroes of Chemistry."

The Heroes of Chemistry program will be held in conjunction with a celebration for the 80th anniversary of Chemical & Engineering News, the society's newsmagazine. Benjamin S. Carson, Sr., M.D., director of the Division of Pediatric Neurosurgery at Johns Hopkins University, will be the keynote speaker at the joint event. Carson has gained worldwide recognition as the principal surgeon in the separation of the conjoined Binder twins in Germany and, most recently, for his role in the separation of the Bijani twins from Iran.

The Heroes program
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Contact: Michael Bernstein
m_bernstein@acs.org
202-872-6042
American Chemical Society
22-Aug-2003


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