Emory University virologist and chemist Raymond Schinazi won the Lifetime Achievement Award at the pharmaceutical industry’s 12th annual Scrip Awards in London on Wednesday night, Nov. 30.
The loudest applause of the night reportedly went to Schinazi, whose award was announced at the end of a black-tie gala that recognized 15 other winners in categories such as the clinical advance of the year, the best technological development in clinical trials and the best financing deal.
Schinazi, an Egyptian-born, English-educated son of Italian Jews, is known for pioneering work in developing antiviral drugs, including Emtriva, which is taken by more than 90 percent of HIV patients in the United States.
He also helped develop a drug approved for use against hepatitis C.
“I think that hepatitis C is curable globally and can be eradicated globally if there’s a will,” Schinazi said in accepting his Scrip Award. “We have also the moral obligation to get these drugs to the people who need them most.”
The Scrip is at least the third major award he has received in the past year and a half for his lifetime of work.
He won the 2015 Tom Glaser Leadership Award at the Conexx Eagle Star Awards. Conexx praised Schinazi for his “unrivaled record in founding biotech companies to commercialize research in antiviral drugs.”
He also received the 2015 William S. Middleton Award, the highest honor of the Department of Veterans Affairs’ Biomedical Laboratory Research and Development Service. Though he is now full time at Emory as the Francis Winship Walters professor as pediatrics, Schinazi served as a senior research scientist at the Atlanta VA Medical Center.
A VA official, Antonio Laracuente, credited Schinazi with playing a profound role in shifting infection with the AIDS virus from a death sentence to a manageable illness.