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 vaccinesbut also promising therapies. The 2020 Tang Prize in Biopharmaceutical Scienceis jointly awarded to Dr. Charles Dinarello, university professor of theUniversity of Colorado, Dr. Marc Feldmann, professor emeritus at the Universityof Oxford, and Dr. Tadamitsu Kishimoto, former president of Osaka University,for their groundbreaking discoveries about three cytokines critically involvedin the pathogenesis of various autoimmune diseases--interleukin-1(IL-1), tumornecrosis factor (TNF), and interleukin-6 (IL-6). They made great contributionsto our understanding of these diseases and facilitated the development ofcytokine-targeting biologics that help alleviate the pain of patients sufferingfrom debilitating diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis, ankylosingspondylitis, and psoriasis. The Tang Prize Foundation, in collaboration withExperimental Biology of the US and Taiwan's National Cheng Kung University,will stage the 2020 Tang Prize Masters' Forum for Biopharmaceutical Science at9a.m., Taiwan time (GMT+8), on September 22, and livestream it on theFoundation's website (https://www.tang-prize.org/en/week.php?cat=94 ), with both Mandarin and English settingsavailable.
Titled"Targeting the Hyperactive Immune System, from Autoimmune Disease to CytokineStorms," this forum will be co-hosted by Prof. Yun Yen, president emeritus ofTaipei Medical University, and Prof. Shaw-Jeng Sean Tsai, chair professor inthe Department of Physiology at National Cheng Kung University. In addition tothe lectures delivered by three 2020 awardees, 2014 Tang Prize and 2018 NobelPrize winners Dr. James P. Allison and Prof. Tasuku Honjo will also take part.Taking advantage of videoconferencing technology, we will offer a platform foraudiences in Taiwan and around the globe to engage and interact with thespeakers and panelists either on-site or online. Let's go down memory lanetogether to see how scientists managed to identify the cause of autoimmunediseases, while also looking forward to potential treatments for "cytokinestorms" induced by overproduction of pro-inflammatory cytokines and ofteninflicted upon severe COVID-19 patients.
Aspeople gravely ill with COVID-19 can suffer from aggressive immune responses tothe coronavirus that will result in great damage to their bodies, Dr. Dinarellowill talk about treatments that stop the immune system from going intooverdrive and also current clinical trials that block IL-1. Dr. Feldmann willshare his research on TNF that has transformed the way we treat inflammatorydiseases and address the question about whether targeting TNF can help treatCOVID-19 patients. Dr. Kishimoto will update us on COVID-19 patients' reactionto tocilizumab, a monoclonal anti-IL-6 receptor antibody he helpeddevelop.
Thispandemic has ushered mankind into a battleground where our war with a new virushas just begun. In the frantic search for knowledge and information about thislatest enemy, much of the research has been closely bound up with cytokinefunctions and the inflammatory responses they can trigger. We thereforecordially invite you to join us on this learning curve to explore the mysteriesabout autoimmune disease and cytokine storms.
About Tang Prize
Dr.Samuel Yin, chairman of Ruentex Group, founded the Tang Prize in December of2012 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, theTang Prize seeks to be an inspiring force for people working in all corners ofthe world. For more information on the Tang Prize and its laureates, pleasevisit www.tang-prize.org