UC Investments honor chemistry professor for innovative life-saving drug

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Professor Michael Jung, UC Presidential Chair in Medicinal Chemistry, is featured in Innovate, the UC Investments’ annual report. 

Jung is the researcher at the forefront of the largest-ever technology transfer deal involving a University of California invention. UCLA sold the royalty rights to Jung’s compound, Xtandi, which is a drug for the treatment of prostate cancer, for $1.14 billion. The annual UC Investments report,


, honored Jung for this achievement and looked forward to his future innovations. In the report, Jung mentioned his most recent life-changing project, a small molecule that promotes hair growth.

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Innovate Jung

From Innovate, the annual report for the Office of the Chief Investment Officer for the Regents.

A distinguished professor of chemistry and biochemistry and Associate Dean for Entrepreneurship and Innovation at UCLA, Jung is a leader in the field of synthetic organic and medicinal chemistry. By designing molecules in his laboratory that do not exist in nature, Jung has developed two molecules that are being used to treat thousands of men who have a serious form of prostate cancer. One of these drugs, enzalutamide (brand name Xtandi), was approved for the treatment of metastatic, post-chemotherapy, castration-resistant prostate cancer (CRPC) in August 2012, and had sales of over $3.6B in 2018. The second drug, apalutamide (brand name Erleada), was so effective that the clinical trial was halted two years ahead of schedule and it was approved for clinical use by the FDA in 2018.  More importantly, Erleada is effective in early stage prostate cancer that has not yet metastasized, namely non-metastatic CRPC. To learn more about Jung’s research, visit his group’s website.

Penny Jennings, UCLA Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry, penny@chem.ucla.edu.