LA JOLLA, Calif., June 6, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Avidity NanoMedicines LLC, a biopharmaceutical company pioneering a breakthrough approach to the targeted delivery of nucleic acid-based medicines, announced today that its scientific co-founder, Mark E. Davis, Ph.D., will receive the 2014 Prince of Asturias Award for Technical and Scientific Research. Professor Davis is the Warren and Katharine Schlinger Professor of Chemical Engineering at Caltech and was recognized, along with Avelino Corma Canos of the Institute of Chemical Technology in Spain and Galen D. Stucky of UC Santa Barbara, for contributions to the development of microporous and mesoporous materials and various applications of these materials from the petrochemical industry to health care. Microporous materials are characterized by having pores less than 2 nanometers in diameter, while mesoporous materials have larger pores that can be up to 50 nanometers in diameter.
The Asturias Prize represents the highest scientific recognition in Spain and one of the most prestigious scientific honors in Europe. In recognition of this year's awardees, the Prince of Asturias Foundation said in part, "The scientific and technical contributions of these three chemists have opened up very important lines of research that are on the frontiers of current knowledge, with direct applications in the reduction of pollutant emissions from vehicles and factories as well as in the processes of refining petroleum and in the chemical industry in general."
"Mark Davis is an exceptional scientist and has made many pioneering contributions to the discovery and development of new materials for applications in catalysis, energy and medicine," said Troy Wilson, J.D., Ph.D., President and Chief Executive Officer of Avidity NanoMedicines. "On behalf of everyone at Avidity, we are honored to be working with him on the development of targeted, polymeric nanoparticles as a new class of medicines, and we congratulate him on this well-deserved honor."
Recognized as a pioneer in the field of nanotechnology, Professor Davis has been elected to the National Academy of Engineering, the Institute of Medicine, and the National Academy of Sciences. Davis has won a number of awards previously, including the Presidential Young Investigator Award (1985), the Donald Breck Award from the International Zeolite Association (1989), the Alan T. Waterman Award from the National Science Foundation (1990), the Elmer Gaden Award from the American Chemical Society (2009), and the Gabor A. Somorjai Award for Creative Research in Catalysis (2014), among others. He sits on the editorial board of Molecular Therapy-Nucleic Acids, Drug Delivery and Translational Research, Proceedings of the National Academy of Science, and Nucleic Acid Therapeutics, among other publications.
Professor Davis is accomplished outside of the laboratory as well. In addition to co-founding Avidity NanoMedicines, he previously founded Insert Therapeutics Inc. as well as Calando Pharmaceuticals, Inc., a company that demonstrated the first example of RNA interference in a human patient. Dr. Davis previously served as a member of the scientific advisory boards of Symyx and Alnylam. Significantly, he has achieved All American Status for Masters Track and Field in the 400, 200 and 100 Meter Dashes, and in 2011 he won the 400 Meter Dash for men of age 55-59 at the Masters World Championship.
Davis will receive the Prince Asturias Award from His Royal Highness The Prince of Asturias at an academic ceremony in October in Oviedo, Spain.
About Avidity NanoMedicines
Avidity NanoMedicines is pioneering a new class of therapeutics, antibody siRNA complexes (ARCs™), which draw on the best features of antibody-drug conjugates and nucleic acid-based medicines. Through partnerships with academic and industry experts, Avidity is applying its technology to the discovery and development of novel, targeted drugs. Founded in 2013, the company recently completed a $9 million Series A financing and entered into a collaboration with a major pharmaceutical company. Avidity NanoMedicines is located in La Jolla, California.
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SOURCE Avidity NanoMedicines LLC