Discovery of world’s leading brain cancer drug celebrated at Aston University

9th October 2008 – for immediate release

Academics and researchers from across the world will gather at Aston University in Birmingham, UK on Wednesday, October 15th to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the start of the research project at Aston which led to the discovery of the drug Temodal (temozolomide).

2008 is a double celebration because the drug is expected to reach blockbuster sales status of over US $1 billion this year.

Thirty years ago, a talented group of Aston University academics formed an integrated anti-cancer drug research group in the School of Pharmacy.

In 1978, Robert Stone, a local Aston graduate from Birmingham, joined the research group and was given simple instructions to “make some interesting molecules”. He did much more than that.

In 1980, he synthesised molecules which went on to have a major impact in the development of cancer treatment worldwide. Methazolastone (temozolomide) has now become the worldwide agent of choice in the treatment of brain tumours (glioma).

And the temozolomide story is far from over. Sales continue to rise; the drug is a favoured partner in new drug combinations and there are real possibilities for extending temozolomide into additional therapeutic areas.


Please come and join us at the celebration. Meet the scientists and hear their stories. Find out how the world’s leading brain cancer drug was discovered in Birmingham.

When: Wednesday 15th October 2008

Where: Aston Business School Conference Centre, Aston University, Birmingham, B4 7ET, UK.

Press call: 11am-12pm at Aston Business School. There will be an opportunity to interview the main researchers involved in the discovery of the drug and possibly meet a patient who has received it (to be confirmed).

Please note that journalists and photographers wishing to attend the press call must pre-register with the Press Office on +44 (0)121 204 4552 or via email at Please also note that car parking on the Aston campus is currently limited due to ongoing building work taking place. We can only offer on-campus parking for film crews who book in advance. Non-film crews should park at Millennium Point, which is located near the campus. See for further details.


For further press information please contact Sally Finn, Senior Press/PR Officer on 0121 204 4552 or email

Remaining programme for the day:

12:00 to 1:30 pm - Buffet Luncheon

1:30 to 3:00 pm - Tours of Aston Pharmacy School

3:00 to 5:00 pm - Formal programme to include talks and presentations about the discovery of the drug. To include a look at Aston University in the 1970s by Professor Carl Schwalbe; the story of Temodal by Professor Malcolm Stevens; the patient perspective by Brian Muller, Medical Director, Schering-Plough UK and Ireland; European Competitiveness in Cancer Research by Professor J.G.McVie, Senior Consultant, European Institute of Oncology, Milan and closing remarks by Professor Julia King, Vice-Chancellor of Aston University.

5:00 pm - Cocktail Reception