Macrocycles – synthesis, medicinal chemistry and biological activity

 28 - 29 April 2014,  Croatia

The first Croatia-UK symposium on Macrocycles was held at the Fidelta research site in Zagreb, Croatia on 28th and 29th April 2014.  This symposium was organised jointly by the RSC Biological and Medicinal Chemistry Sector (BMCS) and the Croatian Chemical Society and brought together an international field of speakers to highlight recent advances in the field.  The quality of the presentations was high and feedback from the audience of 115 was very positive. Keynote presentations were given by academics, including Darren Dixon from the University of Oxford and Karl-Heinz Altmann from the ETH in Zurich while there were a number of presentations from leading industrialists in the area.   Topics covered the whole a wide range of subjects from case histories of successful Macrocyclic medicines through to emerging technologies which make use of the semi-rigid structure of Macrocycles as probes for new lead structures.  Presentations included a description of SOM230, a new therapeutic modality for Cushing’s disease by Ian Lewis of Novartis,an outline of research into synthetic macrocycles targeting infectious diseases by Pierre Raboisson  of Janssen Pharmaceuticals as well as some ongoing research on the design and exploration of macrolide inspired novel macrocycles by Sanja Koštrun of the host organisation.  BMCS representative Dave Alker said ‘this symposium is another example of the ongoing commitment of the BMCS to partner with other appropriate chemical societies throughout the world to organise jointly symposia which broaden our understanding of biologically active molecules’.

An important feature of this event was the opportunity for ten young early career researchers to present their work in 15 minute ‘short talks’.  The speakers were selected from a large number of submitted abstracts and represented researchers from across Europe, including Russia, Croatia and Slovenia.  Past-president of the Croatian Chemical Society, Vitomir Sunjic said ‘The Croatian Chemical Society are delighted to co-host this symposium which makes international science in the field of Macrocyclic research available to our young researchers’.  The BMCS offers travel bursaries to facilitate the attendance of postgraduate students at symposia they organise and the recipients were Filippo Romiti (University of Glasgow), Majdouline Roudias (University of Southampton) and Tom Ronson (University of York), who all gave oral presentations on their work.  In addition there was a poster session which was well attended.

This symposium was great success, bringing together researchers from across the field of Macrocyclic research and enabling the exchange of ideas between Croatian chemists and their peers across the globe.  Managing Director of Fidelta Ltd, Phil Dudfield commented ‘We were delighted to be able to host this international symposium and hope that this might be the first in a series of such events’

photo of the lecture theatre at the Macrocycles Symposium