Taiwan’s 2020 Tang Prize Biopharmaceutical Science Laureates to Decipher the Code of Body’s Inflammatory Responses


TAIPEI,
TAIWAN – Media OutReach – 14 September 2020 – As COVID-19’s global rampage continues,
countries around the world are in a race to develop not only effective vaccines
but also promising therapies. The 2020 Tang Prize in Biopharmaceutical Science
is jointly awarded to Dr. Charles Dinarello, university professor of the
University of Colorado, Dr. Marc Feldmann, professor emeritus at the University
of Oxford, and Dr. Tadamitsu Kishimoto, former president of Osaka University,
for their groundbreaking discoveries about three cytokines critically involved
in the pathogenesis of various autoimmune diseases–interleukin-1(IL-1), tumor
necrosis factor (TNF), and interleukin-6 (IL-6). They made great contributions
to our understanding of these diseases and facilitated the development of
cytokine-targeting biologics that help alleviate the pain of patients suffering
from debilitating diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis, ankylosing
spondylitis, and psoriasis. The Tang Prize Foundation, in collaboration with
Experimental Biology of the US and Taiwan’s National Cheng Kung University,
will stage the 2020 Tang Prize Masters’ Forum for Biopharmaceutical Science at
9a.m., Taiwan time (GMT+8), on September 22, and livestream it on the
Foundation’s website (https://www.tang-prize.org/en/week.php?cat=94 ), with both Mandarin and English settings
available.  

  

Titled
“Targeting the Hyperactive Immune System, from Autoimmune Disease to Cytokine
Storms,” this forum will be co-hosted by Prof. Yun Yen, president emeritus of
Taipei Medical University, and Prof. Shaw-Jeng Sean Tsai, chair professor in
the Department of Physiology at National Cheng Kung University. In addition to
the lectures delivered by three 2020 awardees, 2014 Tang Prize and 2018 Nobel
Prize winners Dr. James P. Allison and Prof. Tasuku Honjo will also take part.
Taking advantage of videoconferencing technology, we will offer a platform for
audiences in Taiwan and around the globe to engage and interact with the
speakers and panelists either on-site or online. Let’s go down memory lane
together to see how scientists managed to identify the cause of autoimmune
diseases, while also looking forward to potential treatments for “cytokine
storms” induced by overproduction of pro-inflammatory cytokines and often
inflicted upon severe COVID-19 patients.  

 

As
people gravely ill with COVID-19 can suffer from aggressive immune responses to
the coronavirus that will result in great damage to their bodies, Dr. Dinarello
will talk about treatments that stop the immune system from going into
overdrive and also current clinical trials that block IL-1. Dr. Feldmann will
share his research on TNF that has transformed the way we treat inflammatory
diseases and address the question about whether targeting TNF can help treat
COVID-19 patients. Dr. Kishimoto will update us on COVID-19 patients’ reaction
to tocilizumab, a monoclonal anti-IL-6 receptor antibody he helped
develop. 

 

This
pandemic has ushered mankind into a battleground where our war with a new virus
has just begun. In the frantic search for knowledge and information about this
latest enemy, much of the research has been closely bound up with cytokine
functions and the inflammatory responses they can trigger. We therefore
cordially invite you to join us on this learning curve to explore the mysteries
about autoimmune disease and cytokine storms. 

 

About Tang Prize

Dr.
Samuel Yin, chairman of Ruentex Group, founded the Tang Prize in December of
2012 as an extension of the supreme value his family placed on education.
Harkening back to the golden age of the Tang Dynasty in Chinese history, the
Tang Prize seeks to be an inspiring force for people working in all corners of
the world. For more information on the Tang Prize and its laureates, please
visit www.tang-prize.org

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