published: 17.07.2012, 10:13 | updated: 17.07.2012 10:22:22
Prague - Antonin Holy, Czech research chemist of world importance who discovered preparations that help heal millions of patients worldwide, died on Monday aged 75, the Institute of Organic Chemistry and Biochemistry of the Czech Academy of Sciences where he worked has told CTK.
The preparations developed by Holy are part of the most efficient and also accessible medicines against AIDS, smallpox virus, shingles, eye inflammation and hepatitis B.
"Science really requires a lot of work," he used to say about his profession.
He considered himself mainly a scientist, even when he headed the organic chemistry institute.
"I would have hardly achieved my work results with other institution than the [Czech] Academy of Sciences," he said a few years ago when he scored a series of successes.
Holy started to work in the institute in 1960. After three years he switched to the institute´s new laboratory of nucleic acids chemistry, which he headed for twenty years.
A milestone in Holy´s career was his meeting with Erik de Clercq, young Belgian virologist from the Leuven University, in 1976. They started very effective cooperation on a new group of potential antiviral drugs.
They focused on acyclic nucleoside phosphonates, several of which they successfully transposed to medicines (Vistide, Hepsera, Viread, Truvada, Atripla) in cooperation with U.S. pharmaceutic partner Gilead Sciences.
Holy not only developed the preparations but also managed to gain partners to make the necessary biological tests and companies to produce the medicines. The preparations he developed have become a basis of modern treatment of a number of serious diseases.
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