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Dr. Manoj Desai began his professional career in the pharmaceutical industry at Pfizer Inc, Central Research Division, Groton, CT (1986-1994) before moving to Chiron Corporation (1994-2003) as Director of medicinal chemistry. In October 2003, he was appointed Vice President of medicinal chemistry at Gilead Sciences. At Pfizer, he was responsible for the medicinal chemistry efforts that lead to the discovery of oral Substance P antagonist CP-99994 which became the basis for the discovery of the new anti-emetics. At Chiron he formulated macrobead technology for the synthesis and screening of compound libraries for high through put screening and directed research efforts for the discovery of kinase inhibitors. His research efforts at Gilead led to the discovery of cobicistat which is one of components of Stribild® that was approved by FDA for the treatment of HIV infection. He is co-inventor on patents of cobicistat and ledipasvir. Cobicistat is a pharmacoehancer devoid of antiviral activity. He is co-inventor on patents of cobicistat and ledipasvir. Cobicistat has been coformulated in four approved therapies for the treatment of HIV: Stribild®and Genvoya® (marketed by Gilead), Prezcobix® (marketed by Johnson & Johnson), Evotaz® (marketed by Bristol-Myers Squibb). Ledipasvir is a part of two-drug regimen in Harvoni® for curing Hepatitis C virus.
Dr. Desai obtained Ph.D. in organic chemistry from the M. S. University of Baroda in 1981 working with Dr. Sukh Dev and then carried out post-doctoral fellowships at Purdue University (Professor Herbert C. Brown, 1981-1983) and at Harvard University (Professor Elias J. Corey, 1983-1986).
He has co-authored more than 60 publications in peer reviewed journals and is an inventor on more than 25 issued patents. Furthermore, Dr. Desai is Editor-in-Chief for Medicinal Chemistry Reviews (renamed from Annual Reports in Medicinal chemistry; 2012-current), and has co-edited Comprehensive Medicinal Chemistry II (volume 7, 2007) and a book titledSuccessful Strategies for the Discovery of Antiviral Drugs (2013).