Michael Jung, distinguished professor of chemistry and biochemistry in UCLA College, has been awarded the 2022 IUPAC-Richter Prize in recognition of his research, which has helped advance the development of new drugs for treating advanced prostate cancer.

The IUPAC-Richter prize is awarded to an internationally recognized scientist, preferably a medicinal chemist, whose activities or published accounts have made an outstanding contribution to the practice of medicinal chemistry or the discovery of one or more new drugs.

In close collaboration with Dr. Charles Sawyers, Jung designed and synthesized two different compounds for the treatment of castration-resistant prostate cancer, or CRPC. The first compound, enzalutamide, which is known as the drug Xtandi, was approved in August 2012 for the treatment of both metastatic post-chemotherapy and pre-chemotherapy CRPC. His second drug, apalutamide, which is known commercially as Erleada, was approved in February 2018 for pre-metastatic CRPC. Just recently, it was reported to also work for metastatic castration-sensitive prostate cancer.