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Leukaemia scientists to be awarded


The three scientists who developed a life-saving leukaemia treatment and advanced the “reprogramming” of DNA leading to a new kind of stem cell, are to be given prestigious research awards.

Brian Druker, Nicholas B Lydon and Charles L Sawyers will be given the clinical medical research award at the Lasker Awards, to be held in New York in October.

The award is in recognition of the work the trio carried out in developing Gleevec, a drug which transformed chronic myelogenous leukaemia from a fatal cancer into a manageable chronic condition.

Druker, 54, of the Oregon Health and Science University, and Lydon, 42, formerly of Novartos AG, researched the development of the drug, which gained federal approval in 2001.

Sawyers, 50, of the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Centre in New York, led research into overcoming resistance to the drug.

The Albert and Mary Lasker Foundation said the three scientists produced “astonishing results”.

New York mayor Michael Bloomberg will also be awarded the Lasker prize for public service.

Copyright Press Association 2009

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