PhRMA honors scientists that helped discover Januvia

JERSEY CITY, N.J. — The main trade group representing branded drug makers gave an award to two Merck scientists who helped discover an oral medication for Type 2 diabetes.

The Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America announced Thursday that it would give its Discoverers Award to Nancy Thornberry and Ann Weber, who led the discovery of Merck’s Januvia (sitagliptin), a once-daily pill for Type 2 diabetes designed to control glucose when combined with diet and exercise. PhRMA said that while women have won the Discoverers Award before, this marked the first time in the award’s 24-year history that it went to women alone.

“Because of the work of Ann and Nancy and their team, many diabetes patients around the world have a new medicine in their fight against this serious chronic disease,” PhRMA president and CEO John Castellani said. “Their work stands on its own but also represents the skill, vision and effort of research scientists throughout our industry who are dedicated to improving patient health.”

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