SciLifeLab researcher awarded the Prize for Excellence in Molecular Design

The Société de Chimie Thérapeutique (SCT), a nonprofit organization, whose mission is to promote knowledge in key areas of pharmaceutical research and development, and Evotec, a therapeutic global platform company that focuses on precision medicine and artificial intelligence, awarded the first Prize for Excellence in Molecular Design this year. Andreas Luttens, a PhD student in SciLifeLab researcher Jens Carlsson’s group (Uppsala University), is the first recipient of the prize.

The winner, an early to mid-career researcher, is selected on their outstanding innovation and state-of-the-art molecular design skills that represent a significant step forward in the field of drug discovery. Evotec and SCT were particularly looking for a “molecular architect” who has demonstrated excellence in drug design by using rational and data-driven approaches.

Andreas Luttens (Uppsala University), a PhD in SciLifeLab researcher Jens Carlsson’s group, was awarded the prize for his research on COVID-19. Andreas used high-performance computational screening methods to identify molecules that inhibit the replication machinery of the coronavirus. The team was able to rapidly construct improved inhibitors through very efficient design-make-test-analyze (DMTA) cycles. The project was a collaboration with the SciLifeLab Drug Discovery and Development (DDD) platform and received funding from SciLifeLab and The Knut & Alice Wallenberg Foundation.

“I am very excited we found this promising needle in an incredibly complex and enormous haystack. I feel honored that both Evotec and SCT recognized our efforts on rapidly developing antiviral candidates against COVID-19”, says Andreas Luttens, first author of the study that led to the award.

Andreas Luttens, et al.; Ultralarge Virtual Screening Identifies SARS-CoV‐2 Main Protease Inhibitors with Broad-Spectrum Activity against Coronaviruses. Journal of American Chemical Society (2022). DOI: 10.1021/jacs.1c08402,

Read more on the Evotec webpage


Last updated: 2022-09-29

Content Responsible: Johan Inganni(