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Inventor of Celebrexï¾® to speak at UNI for Seventh Annual Leland Wilson Lectureship Sept. 25

September 21, 2003
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Paul Rider, professor and acting head of the UNI Department of Chemistry, (319) 273-2437
Vicki Grimes, University Marketing & Public Relations, (319) 273-2761

CEDAR FALLS, Iowa -- The inventor of Celebrexï¾®, the blockbuster arthritis treatment, will speak on the University of Northern Iowa campus Thursday, Sept. 25, delivering a lecture honoring long-time professor of chemistry and department chair Leland Wilson.

John Talley, vice president for drug discovery at Microbia, Inc., will deliver the Seventh Annual Leland Wilson Chemistry Lecture, 'Discovery of Celebrexï¾®, ' at 8 p.m, in McCollum Science Hall Room 201. His address is open to the public and free of charge. Talley, who earned his B.A. degree in science from UNI in 1974, also holds a Ph.D. degree in organic chemistry from the University of Minnesota.

Microbia, located in Cambridge, Mass., is a privately held biotechnology company that is developing novel anti-infective therapeutics. Prior to joining Microbia, Talley spent 15 years at G.D. Searle (Pharmacia/Pfizer), leading drug discovery efforts in a number of therapeutic areas.

'Most industrial chemists never get anything on the market and John (Talley) has four drugs on sale,' said Paul Rider, acting head and professor of chemistry at UNI. One of Talley's professors during his student days at UNI, Rider remembers both he and now-retired colleague James Macmillan, urging Talley to specialize in chemistry.

Talley is the lead inventor of several classes of drugs, including Celebrexï¾®, with $1.5 billion in first-year sales, and sales of more than $3 billion in 2002; Bextraï¾®, recently approved by the FDA for once-a-day treatment of osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis and menstrual cramps; Dynastatï¾®, recently approved by the European Committee for treatment of acute postoperative pain; Deramaxxï¾®, the first and only COX-2 class drug approved for the control of pain and inflammation associated with osteoarthritis and orthopedic surgery in veterinary medicine, and several protease inhibitor compounds for the treatment of HIV/AIDS.

Talley received the prestigious PhRMA Discoverers Award in 2002 for his discovery of Celebrexï¾®. His research efforts have produced 35 peer-reviewed publications and he is named as an inventor in 145 issued U.S. patents.

Wilson, who died in 1993, was head of the UNI Department of Chemistry from 1968 to 1975. He received the Centennial Outstanding Alumnus Award from Eastern Kentucky University in 1974 and the UNI Dean's Award for Superior Achievement in 1979.