Sir Marc Feldmann, Emeritus Professor at the Kennedy Institute of Rheumatology, Nuffield Department of Orthopaedics, Rheumatology & Musculoskeletal Sciences has been awarded the 2020 Tang Prize in Biopharmaceutical Science. He was announced as joint winner alongside Charles Dinarello (US), and Tadamitsu Kishimoto (Japan) "for the development of cytokine-targeting biological therapies for treatment of inflammatory diseases."
Dr Feldmann received the award for his research into the molecular mechanisms of auto-immune inflammatory diseases. This revealed that tumor necrosis factor (TNF), a protein which regulates immune and inflammatory cells was a good therapeutic target in rheumatoid arthritis. This discovery led to the development of an anti-TNF antibody that Feldmann, and his clinical research colleague Maini, proved to be very effective against rheumatoid arthritis and has since enabled millions of patients to regain control of their lives. Anti-TNF was also shown to be effective in inflammatory bowel disease, psoriasis and ten other conditions. It was the first antibody therapy of a common disease, is the world's best-selling drug class, and facilitated the widespread uptake of antibody therapy by the pharmaceutical industry.